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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT

Latest Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Stories

WISE Birthday Image
2013-12-13 15:43:15

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online To coincide with the fourth anniversary of NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, the space agency has released an image showing a unique juxtaposition – a distant, dying star called the Helix nebula, surrounded by a halo of relatively close asteroids tracks. The release of the image and the mission’s fourth anniversary comes after NASA brought WISE out of hibernation back in August to search for more...

Ancient Brown Dwarfs
2013-11-21 15:05:41

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The galaxy is a diverse place, containing stars, planets, nebulous gas, black holes, and all matter of other objects, some of which we still do not understand. But among this vast array sits an object that is neither a star, nor a planet. These brown dwarfs have masses only a fraction of that of our Sun, but are still at least 13 times more massive than Jupiter. But because of the lack of substantial fusion, the surface of...

WISE Catalog And Atlas Just Got Wiser
2013-11-16 04:55:07

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new and improved atlas and catalog, brimming with data on three-quarters of a billion objects detected during two full scans of the sky, were released by NASA on Friday from their Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. In 2010, WISE scanned the entire sky in infrared light, snapping a dozen pictures of every star and galaxy. The spacecraft ran out of the coolant needed to chill some of its heat-seeking detectors in...

Galaxy’s Rings Help Astronomers Unveil Its Past
2013-10-31 16:40:49

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Similar to reading tree rings, astronomers are able to read the rings in a galaxy’s disk to help gain a better understanding of its past. Scientists using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) have gained evidence supporting the “inside-out” theory of galaxy growth, which says that formation starts with the bursts of star formation. "Initially, a rapid star-forming period...

NASA Scientists Discover Cool Brown Dwarfs That Are Still Pretty Warm
2013-09-06 11:02:56

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Two years ago NASA scientists revealed a new class of stars, dubbed ‘Y dwarfs,' thought to be about as warm as the human body. However, newly published research indicates that these cold stars are probably a bit warmer than the boiling point of water. These stars are believed to have a mass about 5 to 20 times that of Jupiter. Unlike our sun, these types of brown dwarf stars derive their energy via gravitational contraction, a...

NASA Explorer Leaves Retirement Track Space Rocks
2013-08-22 09:47:16

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that one member of its fleet will be coming out of retirement to become part of a project that will eventually lead to placing humans on an asteroid. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) discovered and categorized thousands of asteroids throughout the solar system before being decommissioned in February 2011. That retirement will end in September when the orbiter reawakens with a new mission – to...

2013-08-21 20:20:20

BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft will emerge from its two-year hibernation next month to resume its near-Earth object NEOWISE asteroid hunting mission. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/LA39163LOGO) Launched in December 2009, Ball Aerospace built the WISE BCP-300 spacecraft bus under contract to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During its original...

Cometary Origins For Most Centaurs: WISE
2013-07-26 04:44:52

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The small celestial bodies orbiting between the sun and Jupiter and Neptune are known as centaurs, and their true identity has been one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Previously, scientists have questioned, are they asteroids or comets? A new study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, using observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets. Astronomers have been unsure...

NASA Traces Evolution Of Asteroid Families
2013-05-30 11:54:27

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using the orbiting Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), NASA scientists have been able to identify and categorize 28 new asteroid families found in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, the space agency announced. Infrared snapshots from the asteroid-hunting section of the survey, called NEOWISE, allowed scientists to spot and sort thousands of previously hidden and uncategorized asteroids into families. "NEOWISE has given...