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Latest IRAS Stories

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2009-08-18 07:15:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. WISE is scheduled to blast into space in December, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2. Orbiting around Earth, it will scan the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, unveiling hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies. The spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg along the central...

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2009-06-10 15:30:30

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been assembled and is undergoing final preparations for a planned Nov. 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission will survey the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, creating a cosmic clearinghouse of hundreds of millions of objects -- everything from the most luminous galaxies, to the nearest stars, to dark and potentially hazardous asteroids. The survey will be the most detailed to date in infrared light, with a...

2009-04-30 07:13:00

LOS ANGELES, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital Gold Group, Inc., a premier provider of gold and other precious metals assets, confirmed today that demand for precious metals in self-directed IRAs has more than doubled since January 1, 2009. The significant increase resulted from the huge number of investors drawn to the metal after their IRAs were battered by the current economic crisis, reporting losses in value ranging from 30% to 80%. Others seek a hedge against inflation, dollar...

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2007-09-05 14:45:26

Two new sets of observations from the AKARI Infrared Space Telescope, JAXA mission with ESA participation, show how the spaceborne telescope has investigated galaxies both near and far. In the first set, Toyoaki Suzuki, University of Tokyo, observed M101, a spiral galaxy 170 thousand light years in diameter. AKARI's new observations reveal differing populations of stars spread across its spiral arms. AKARI observed the galaxy at four infrared wavelengths (65, 90, 140, and 160 micrometres)...

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2007-08-29 13:25:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected enough water vapor to fill the oceans on Earth five times inside the collapsing nest of a forming star system. Astronomers say the water vapor is pouring down from the system's natal cloud and smacking into a dusty disk where planets are thought to form. The observations provide the first direct look at how water, an essential ingredient for life as we know it, begins to make its way into planets, possibly even rocky ones like our own. "For the...

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2007-07-11 11:55:00

One year after the beginning of its scientific operations, the high-capability infrared satellite AKARI continues to produce stunning views of the infrared Universe. Launched in February 2006, AKARI is making a comprehensive, multi-wavelength study of the sky in infrared light, helping to gain a deeper understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems. The mission is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project with ESA and international...

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2006-12-13 08:32:09

The best meteor shower of the year peaks this week on Dec. 13th and 14th. "It's the Geminid meteor shower," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, Alabama. "Start watching on Wednesday evening, Dec. 13th, around 9 p.m. local time," he advises. "The display will start small but grow in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas could see one or two meteors every minute." The source of the Geminids is a mysterious...

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2006-10-13 22:05:00

Engineers are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for building a telescope that will find the nearest star-like objects and the brightest galaxies. NASA has approved the start of construction on a new mission called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which will scan the entire sky in infrared light. "There's a whole infrared sky out there full of surprises," said Dr. Edward Wright, principal investigator for the mission at the University of California, Los Angeles. "By surveying the...

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2006-08-29 12:30:00

AKARI, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) infrared astronomical satellite with ESA participation, is continuing its survey of the sky and its mapping of our cosmos in infrared light. New exciting images recently taken by AKARI depict scenes from the birth and death of stars. AKARI's Infrared Camera (IRC) imaged the reflection nebula IC 1396 in the constellation Cepheus (a reflection nebula is a cloud of dust which reflects the light of nearby stars). IC 1396 is a bright...

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2006-08-10 16:30:00

Cambridge, MA - Long predicted by theory, the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has found the first conclusive evidence of an hourglass-shaped magnetic field in a star formation region. Measurements indicate that material in the interstellar cloud is dense enough to allow it to gravitationally collapse, warping the magnetic field in the process. Astronomers Josep Girart (Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, Spanish National Research Council), Ramprasad Rao (Institute of Astronomy and...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'