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Latest Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Stories

asteroid tracks
2014-01-24 08:58:14

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Once a hibernating craft drifting silently through space, NEOWISE was repurposed and reactivated last month with a new mission – find asteroids and other potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEO). On Thursday, NASA announced that the probe has identified 857 minor bodies in our solar system, including 22 NEOs and four comets, in its first 25 days of operation. Three of these NEOs are new discoveries measuring hundreds of feet in...

Asteroid Discovery Comes After NASA Reactivates NEOWISE
2014-01-08 10:07:31

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Considering NASA’s recent budget cuts, re-purposing the space agency’s assets is more important than ever. One asset re-purposed by NASA, the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), has made its first discovery since coming out of hibernation last year: a never-before-seen asteroid dubbed 2013 YP139. Formerly known as the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the orbiter was shut down in 2011 after...

2014-01-07 12:21:39

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft has spotted a never-before-seen asteroid -- its first such discovery since coming out of hibernation last year. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) NEOWISE originally was called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which had made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets. The spacecraft was shut...

Asteroid Hunter Reactivated, Returns First Images
2013-12-20 05:09:27

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Near-Earth Orbit Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft, or NEOWISE for short, made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets during its first tour of service. Now, NEOWISE has returned to service, and has sent its first set of test images back to Earth in preparation for a renewed mission. More than 34,000 asteroids were discovered, and 158,000 were characterized throughout the solar system during...

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...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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