Gallery: WISE’s Greatest Hits

Article written: 11 Feb , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


The WISE mission is now over, with the spacecraft taking its final image on Feb. 1, 2011. WISE was a “cool” infrared mission, with the optics chilled to less than 20 degrees centigrade above absolute zero (20 Kelvins). In its low Earth orbit (523 km above the ground), the spacecraft explored the entire Universe and collected infrared light coming from everywhere in space and studied asteroids, the coolest and dimmest stars, and the most luminous galaxies. Expect to hear and see more from WISE, however in the future. More images will be released from the team in April and in the spring of 2012. Here’s a look back at some of the great images from WISE’s 13 months in space:

The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

The red smudge at the center of this picture is the first comet discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

The immense Andromeda galaxy, also known as Messier 31 or simply M31, is captured in full in this February 2010 image from WISE. credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

NGC 3603, as seen by WISE. credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

NGC 1514, sometimes called the Crystal Ball nebula shows a new double ring feature in an image from WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This image from WISE shows the Tadpole nebula. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

The Heart and Soul nebulae are seen in this infrared mosaic from WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

An image released in August 2010 from WISE image of the Small Magellanic Cloud. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

The last image that will ever be taken by the WISE spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

And if you want to see how it all started, here’s a video of WISE’s launch:

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4 Responses

  1. Member
    Aqua says

    Nothing sweeter in success than knowledge gained!

  2. StarzDust says

    Why do scientist and others insist upon using “centigrade” for temperature when degree Celsius should be used. Centigrade is not an SI unit for temperature. And Kelvin, the official SI unit for temperature, does not have an “s” at the end. As a retired science teacher I would expect that American scientist and writers of science would know the difference.
    …just saying.


  3. Member
    bystander says

    @StarzDust: For everyday use, there is no appreciable difference between the Celsius and Centigrade scales. The difference is that the 0 point on the Celsius scale is set at the triple point of water as defined at 273.16 kelvin instead of the freezing point of water which is difficult to accurately determine. Since the Celsius scale is defined in kelvin, there is no error in accuracy between using Celsius and kelvin, and Celsius is much easier for the layman to relate to.

  4. kevinjardine says

    As Wikipedia points out here:

    The name for the centigrade temperature scale was changed to Celsius in 1948. They are same scales. I agree that it is a bit strange that some people insist on using the old term.

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