Image: NEOWISE celebrates first month of operations after reactivation

Jan 24, 2014

(Phys.org) —In its first 25 days of operations, the newly reactivated NEOWISE mission has detected 857 minor bodies in our solar system, including 22 near-Earth objects (NEOs) and four comets. Three of the NEOs are new discoveries; all three are hundreds of meters in diameter and dark as coal.

The has just passed its post-restart survey readiness review, and the project has verified that the ability to measure asteroid positions and brightness is as good as it was before the spacecraft entered in early 2011. At the present rate, NEOWISE is observing and characterizing approximately one NEO per day, giving astronomers a much better idea of the objects' sizes and compositions.

Out of the more than 10,500 NEOs that have been discovered to date, only about 10 percent have had any physical measurements made of them; the reactivated NEOWISE will more than double that number.

Explore further: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover studies rock-layer contact zone

Related Stories

NASA's NEOWISE completes scan for asteroids and comets

Feb 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 ...

Ten thousandth near-Earth object unearthed in space

Jun 25, 2013

(Phys.org) —More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered. The 10,000th near-Earth object, asteroid 2013 MZ5, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, ...

Mine those asteroids: Strathclyde team finds easy 12

Aug 13, 2013

(Phys.org) —Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have identified twelve easily retrievable objects among the population of near earth objects (NEOs). In their paper published this month ...

Recommended for you

What is a terrestrial planet?

8 hours ago

In studying our solar system over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery ...

Working out in artificial gravity

10 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.