NASA WISE To Scan The Heavens | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.23.15

Airborne 02.24.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.23.15

Airborne 02.24.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Thu, Jun 11, 2009

NASA WISE To Scan The Heavens

California Launch Scheduled For November 1st

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been assembled and is undergoing final preparations for a planned Nov. 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The mission will survey the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, creating acosmic clearinghouse of hundreds of millions of objects -- everything from the most luminous galaxies, to the nearest stars, to dark and potentiallyhazardous asteroids. The survey will be the most detailed to date in infrared light, with a sensitivity hundreds of times better than that of its predecessor, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite.

"Most of the sky has never been imaged at these infrared wavelengths with this kind of sensitivity," said Edward Wright, the mission's principalinvestigator at UCLA. "We are sure to find many surprises."

On May 17, the mission's science instrument was delivered to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., where it was attached to the spacecraft, built by Ball. The assembled unit was then blasted by sound to simulate the effects of launch. Tests for electronic "noise" in the detectors will be performed next.

The science instrument is a 16 inch telescope with four infrared cameras. A cryostat, or cooler, uses frozen hydrogen to chill the sensitive megapixel infrared detectors down to seven Kelvin (minus 447 degrees Fahrenheit). The instrument was built by Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah.

Among expected finds from WISE are hundreds of thousands of asteroids in our solar system's asteroid belt, and hundreds of additional asteroids that come near Earth. Many asteroids have gone undetected because they don't reflect much visible light, but their heat makes them glow in infrared light that WISE can see. By cataloguing the objects, the mission will provide better estimates of their sizes, a critical step for assessing the risk associated with those that might impact Earth.

"We know that asteroids occasionally hit Earth, and we'd like to have a better idea of how many there are and their sizes," said Amy Mainzer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the mission's deputy project scientist. "Whether they are dark or shiny, they all emit infrared light. They can't hide from WISE."

WISE will lift off from Vandenberg aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket (file  photo, above). It will orbit Earth, mapping the entire sky in six months after a one-month checkout period. Its frozen hydrogen is expected to last several months longer, allowing WISE to map much of the sky a second time and see what has changed.

FMI: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 02.27.15: CS300 Flies, Nimoy Goes West, NTSB's Hart OK'd, PBOR II

Also: Bell 505 Update, Mooney Update, UAV Hysteria, AAR Sells Telair, True Blue Power, More UAV Waivers, Flyers Rights The Bombardier CSeries CS300 airliner made its first flight t>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (03.01.15)

“Sentinel 2 is the next important milestone to deploy Europe´s Copernicus program for which Airbus Defence and Space is a key contributor. In particular, we are prime c>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.01.15): Advancing Blade

Advancing Blade That half of the rotor disc in which the rotation of the blade is moving in the same direction as the movement of the helicopter. If the helicopter is moving forwar>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.01.15)

Aero Linx: The New England Helicopter Council The New England Helicopter Council is committed to promoting rotorcraft aviation through and for the benefit of our membership. If you>[...]

CASA Grants Extension On Small Aircraft Licensing Transition

Australian Agency Lengthens Training Period For Maintenance Candidates The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia has extended the training period for individuals seeking a s>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC