Infrared Hunt Begins: WISE Starts All-Sky Survey

January 14, 2010
This artist's conception shows NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mapping the whole sky in infrared. The mission will unveil hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies. Image credit: Ball/NASA/JPL-Caltech

( -- NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) began its survey of the infrared sky today.

The mission will spend nine months scanning the sky one-and-a-half times in , revealing all sorts of cosmic characters -- everything from near-Earth asteroids to young galaxies more than ten billion light-years away.

WISE, which launched Dec. 14, 2009, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, will uncover hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies. Its vast catalog of data will provide astronomers and other missions with data for mine for decades to come.

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