WISE is an unmanned satellite carrying an infrared-sensitive telescope

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by cosmictraveler, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    WISE is a NASA-funded Explorer mission that will provide a vast storehouse of knowledge about the solar system, the Milky Way, and the Universe. Among the objects WISE will study are asteroids, the coolest and dimmest stars, and the most luminous galaxies.

    WISE is an unmanned satellite carrying an infrared-sensitive telescope that will image the entire sky. Since objects around room temperature emit infrared radiation, the WISE telescope and detectors are kept very cold (below -430° F /15 Kelvins, which is only 15° Centigrade above absolute zero) by a cryostat -- like an ice chest but filled with solid hydrogen instead of ice.

    Solar panels will provide WISE with the electricity it needs to operate, and will always point toward the Sun. Orbiting several hundred miles above the dividing line between night and day on Earth, the telescope will look out at right angles to the Sun and will always point away from Earth. As WISE orbits from the North pole to the equator to the South pole and then back up to the North pole, the telescope will sweep out a circle in the sky. As the Earth moves around the Sun, this circle will move around the sky, and after six months WISE will have observed the whole sky.



    http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/index.html
     
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  3. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    This should provide an interesting view of the universe. We'll likely see many more neutron stars that are dimmed beyond normal viewing. And lots of other interesting things!
     
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  5. kaneda Actual Cynic Registered Senior Member

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    We might get an idea of just how much invisible matter there is about, including black dwarfs. A look in on the Kuiper belt would be good as well as the Oort cloud.
     
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