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Latest Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Stories

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2010-10-05 15:15:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, caught a glimpse of the comet that the agency's EPOXI mission will visit in November. The WISE observation will help the EPOXI team put together a large-scale picture of the comet, known as Hartley 2. "WISE's infrared vision provides data that complement what EPOXI will see with its visible-light and near-infrared instruments," said James Bauer, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "It's as if WISE can see an entire...

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2010-10-05 07:35:00

 Although WISE has 'warmed up,' NASA has decided the mission will still continue. WISE will now focus on our nearest neighbors -- the asteroids and comets traveling together with our solar system's planets around the sun. "Two of our four infrared detectors still work even at warmer temperatures, so we can use those bands to continue our hunt for asteroids and comets," said Amy Mainzer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Mainzer is the principal investigator of the...

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2010-09-02 14:20:00

New research from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals that asteroids somewhat near Earth, termed near-Earth objects, are a mixed bunch, with a surprisingly wide array of compositions. Like a piñata filled with everything from chocolates to fruity candies, these asteroids come in assorted colors and compositions. Some are dark and dull; others are shiny and bright. The Spitzer observations of 100 known near-Earth asteroids demonstrate that the objects' diversity is...

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2010-08-11 08:15:00

Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer Mission Status NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is warming up. Team members say the spacecraft is running out of the frozen coolant needed to keep its heat-sensitive instrument chilled. The telescope has two coolant tanks that keep the spacecraft's normal operating temperature at 12 Kelvin (minus 438 degrees Fahrenheit). The outer, secondary tank is now depleted, causing the temperature to increase. One of WISE's infrared detectors, the...

2010-07-16 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will complete its first survey of the entire sky on July 17. The mission has generated more than one million images so far, of everything from asteroids to distant galaxies. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) "Like a globe-trotting shutterbug, WISE has completed a world tour with 1.3 million slides...

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2010-07-16 09:30:00

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has discovered approximately 25,000 new asteroids over the past six months using their new Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope, according to the Associated Press (AP). According to AP Science Writer Alicia Chang, 95 of those asteroids are considered "near Earth," meaning that they are less than 30 million miles from the planet. However, Chang notes that none of the recently discovered asteroids pose any threat to...

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2010-06-24 15:35:00

Astronomers have uncovered what appear to be 14 of the coldest stars known in our universe. These failed stars, called brown dwarfs, are so cold and faint that they'd be impossible to see with current visible-light telescopes. Spitzer's infrared vision was able to pick out their feeble glow, much as a firefighter uses infrared goggles to find hot spots buried underneath a dark forest floor. The brown dwarfs join only a handful of similar objects previously discovered. The new objects are...

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2010-06-18 08:50:00

Some might see a blood-red jellyfish in a forest of seaweed, while others might see a big, red eye or a pair of lips. In fact, the red-colored object in this new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a sphere of stellar innards, blown out from a humongous star. The star (white dot in center of red ring) is one of the most massive stellar residents of our Milky Way galaxy. Objects like this are called Wolf-Rayet stars, after the astronomers who found the...

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2010-05-25 06:30:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is busy surveying the landscape of the infrared sky, building up a catalog of cosmic specimens -- everything from distant galaxies to "failed" stars, called brown dwarfs. Closer to home, the mission is picking out an impressive collection of asteroids and comets, some known and some never seen before. Most of these hang out in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter, but a small number are near-Earth objects -- asteroids and comets with...

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2010-05-24 09:55:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured a huge mosaic of two bubbling clouds in space, known as the Heart and Soul nebulae. The space telescope, which has completed about three-fourths of its infrared survey of the entire sky, has already captured nearly one million frames like the ones making up this newly released mosaic. "This new image demonstrates the power of WISE to capture vast regions," said Ned Wright, the mission's principal investigator at UCLA, who...


Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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