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Latest Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Stories

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2011-02-21 07:09:47

Background In November 2010, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, who proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized "Oort cloud" -- a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name "Tyche" for the hypothetical planet. Their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared...

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2011-02-01 14:25:00

NASA said on Tuesday that its near-Earth objects Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWOSE) mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets in our solar system. The mission's previous discoveries include 20 comets, over 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 28 million miles of Earth's path around the sun. NASA said that NEOWISE is an enhancement of...

2011-02-01 12:12:00

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's NEOWISE mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets in our solar system. The mission's discoveries of previously unknown objects include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). The NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 28 million miles of Earth's path around the sun. (Logo:...

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2011-01-25 08:15:00

A massive star flung away from its former companion is plowing through space dust. The result is a brilliant bow shock, seen here as a yellow arc in a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The star, named Zeta Ophiuchi, is huge, with a mass of about 20 times that of our sun. In this image, in which infrared light has been translated into visible colors we see with our eyes, the star appears as the blue dot inside the bow shock. Zeta Ophiuchi once orbited around...

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2011-01-14 08:34:51

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has captured a new view of two companion galaxies -- a somewhat tranquil spiral beauty and its rambunctious partner blazing with smoky star formation. The unlikely pair, named Messier 81 and Messier 82, got to know each other a lot better during an encounter that occurred a few hundred million years ago. As they swept by each other, gravitational interactions triggered new bursts of star formation. In the case of Messier 82, also known as the Cigar...

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2010-12-18 08:57:38

This collage of galaxies from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, showcases the many "flavors" that galaxies come in, from star-studded spirals to bulging ellipticals to those paired with other companion galaxies. The WISE team put this collage together to celebrate the anniversary of the mission's launch on Dec. 14, 2009.After launch and a one-month checkout period, WISE began mapping the sky in infrared light. By July of this year, the entire sky had been surveyed,...

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2010-12-11 13:50:00

A circular rainbow appears like a halo around an exploded star in this new view of the IC 443 nebula from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. When massive stars die, they explode in tremendous blasts, called supernovae, which send out shock waves. The shock waves sweep up and heat surrounding gas and dust, creating supernova remnants like the one pictured here. The supernova in IC 443 happened somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. In this WISE image, infrared light...

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2010-11-17 12:45:00

A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows what looks like a glowing jellyfish floating at the bottom of a dark, speckled sea. In reality, this critter belongs to the cosmos -- it's a dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas and two very unusual rings. "I am reminded of the jellyfish exhibition at the Monterey Bay Aquarium -- beautiful things floating in water, except this one is in space," said Edward (Ned) Wright, the principal investigator of the WISE mission at...

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2010-11-10 06:40:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has eyed its first cool brown dwarf: a tiny, ultra-cold star floating all alone in space. WISE is scanning the whole sky in infrared light, picking up the glow of not just brown dwarfs but also asteroids, stars and galaxies. It has sent millions of images down to Earth, in which infrared light of different wavelengths is color-coded in the images. "The brown dwarfs jump out at you like big, fat, green emeralds," said Amy Mainzer, the deputy...

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2010-10-14 09:00:00

The Sculptor galaxy is shown in different infrared hues, in this new mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The main picture is a composite of infrared light captured with all four of the space telescope's infrared detectors. The red image at bottom right shows the galaxy's active side. Infant stars are heating up their dusty cocoons, particularly in the galaxy's core, making the Sculptor galaxy burst with infrared light. This light -- color-coded red in this view --...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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