April 18, 2011
W.I.S.E. telescope offers new view of universe
NASA has just released more than a million images captured by the W.I.S.E. satellite telescope. W.I.S.E., the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, was born in the Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan, part of the Utah State University Research Foundation.
“It’s basically an atlas to the whole sky, since we’ve mapped the whole sky,” said W.I.S.E. project manager John Elwell.
The satellite telescope was launched by NASA in December, 2009. It captures images using infrared light, a technique that requires the cameras to be kept extremely cold with frozen hydrogen. W.I.S.E. was always intended to have a very short useful life. It operated for only 13 months before the hydrogen warmed up and put the cameras out of commission.
W.I.S.E. “completed its mission but the data is still being processed,” Elwell said. “The first half, about 57 percent of the data, is being released to the public and will be available on-line.”
About a million more images are expected to be released a year from now.
Until this week, NASA had released only one image a week. Many of the 61 previously-released images show spectacular features in space, some that have never been seen before. The new batch of approximately 1.4 million multi-color images is accessible by anyone through the Internet.
But to see the images in color will require processing in a home computer. ”It’s primarily intended for astronomers,” Elwell said, “although anyone’s welcome to access it.”
To read the rest of this article from the Deseret News, click here.Posted by: psilberman