More near Earth objects found by WISE

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NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WISE) has released its third year of survey data, including the discovery of 97 previously unknown objects.

Of those, 28 were near-Earth objects, 64 were main belt asteroids and five were comets. The spacecraft has now characterized a total of 693 near-Earth objects since the mission was re-started in December 2013.

For reasons that baffle me, NASA added “Near-Earth Object” to the telescope’s name when they restarted the mission, making its official name now NEOWISE.



  • LocalFluff

    NEOWISE is the recommission of the primary WISE mission, after its cooling hydrogen gas ran out and made its infrared mirror insensitive to the cosmological objects it was originally made to hunt. It lost its original abilities, according to plan, but can still do something, it is a rare space telescope after all. It’s like Kepler and K2, they improvise (informally foresaw from the beginning, I bet) a secondary mission when the primary ran out of gas. NEOWISE is too warm to find much else than near Earth asteroids. So that’s what it does nowadays. That’s what it can do.

  • wayne

    I thought Neo, is the One?
    (Matrix clip)

  • LocalFluff

    Yeah, just deny reality, and anything will become true for YOU!
    (The liberal leftist assumption)
    MATRIX is communist propaganda.

  • LocalFluff

    The video clip on this link shows asteroids or comets whatever that happen to cross Kepler’s field of view. Ignore the flashes that are just cosmic radiation noise, and the stationary sources that are just background stars. The big one is Neptune and the dot following it is its moon Triton. But everything that moves moderately across the field is an asteroid, or “an object”.

    AFAIK none of those Kepler observed could have their orbit determined. They were all considered noise. Too narrow field of view to locate any of them. But WISE is wide field and can follow them during long enough time to fix their orbits.

    200 years ago an astronomer went out to the balcony of his Paris flat to have a look at the sky between his cocktail parties (being an astronomer was still a very nice hobby lifestyle choice back then). He there discovered almost half of the asteroids known at the time. Now space telescopes are wasting such observations by the millions! The “big data” problem.

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