Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

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WISE Images


Jabbah and Associates

Jabbah and Associates


No, it's not a gang of intergalactic mobsters from the famous Star Wars movies. Jabbah is the name of the bright star right of center, surrounded by a red colored dust cloud. The Arabic name means "the forehead of the scorpion." This view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, takes in an area of the sky in the constellation of Scorpius surrounding Jabbah, which is larger than a grid of eight by eight full moons.


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Dusty Reflections in the Scorpion's Claws

Dusty Reflections in the Scorpion's Claws


Between the claws of the dreaded scorpion imagined by the ancient Greeks lies this giant dust cloud, imaged by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellation of Scorpius is prominent in the summer night sky in North America. In visible light, this cloud, or nebula, appears dark with a ghostly blue shine about it. These types of nebulae are called "reflection," because they are reflecting the light of nearby stars. The dust within the cloud reflects mostly blue light. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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Dark Murky Clouds in the Bright Milky Way

Dark Murky Clouds in the Bright Milky Way


Typically if an astronomer wants to see into or through a thick dark cloud in space, they will use an infrared-sensing telescope. However, in this infrared image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, there are some clouds that are so cool and thick that even infrared light coming from within or the background can’t penetrate them.


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Cosmic Alligator Eats its Way Through the Sky

Cosmic Alligator Eats its Way Through the Sky


Many people enjoy the summer pastime of imagining pictures in clouds in the sky. The same can be done with clouds in the universe. Seen here by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, the cloud CG4 might be imagined as a cosmic alligator eating its way across the sky. Others might see a giant red-nosed slug. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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Star Formation Everywhere You Look

Star Formation Everywhere You Look


This image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, highlights several star-forming regions.


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Elephant's Trunk nebula

Blowin' in the Stellar Wind


In the same way that dust is blown around by the wind here on Earth, space dust can be blown around by the wind and radiation from stars. This image of the Elephant's Trunk nebula from NASA's Wide-field Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows clouds of dust and gas being pushed and eroded by a massive star.


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Star Formation in the Heart of the Swan

Star Formation in the Heart of the Swan


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a huge complex of star-forming clouds and stellar clusters found in the constellation Cygnus. Best known as a swan winging its way across the night, the constellation Cygnus is easily seen in the northern hemisphere's summertime sky. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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Bringing the Stars Down to Earth

Bringing the Stars Down to Earth


Amy Mainzer and Mike Cushing of JPL in a conference room at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. This is a dramatized image, enhanced with a starry sky, illustrating the mood during what astronomers call remote observing. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


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The Galaxy Menagerie from WISE

The Galaxy Menagerie from WISE


A new, colorful collection of galaxy specimens has been released by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mission. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


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Star clusters such as the Pleiades are often considered some of the most beautiful objects in the sky.

Star Cluster Overshadowed by Infrared Objects


Star clusters such as the Pleiades are often considered some of the most beautiful objects in the sky. Yet in this image taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, the star cluster NGC 2259 is overshadowed by the surrounding stars and dust which glow brightly in infrared light. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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Nebulae: Not as Close as They Appear

Nebulae: Not as Close as They Appear


This latest image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows three different nebulae located in the constellation of Perseus. NGC 1491 is seen on the right side of the image, SH 2-209 is on the left side and BFS 34 lies in between. The picture covers an area on the sky equal to 8 full moons.


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The 'van Gogh' of the Infrared Sky

The 'van Gogh' of the Infrared Sky


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is a little like the Vincent van Gogh of the infrared sky. Just like the famous Impressionist painter created beautiful images of nature through use of color and light, WISE has provided the world with picturesque images of the cosmos by representing infrared light through color. This image of the nebula NGC 2174, on the border of the Gemini and Orion constellations, is a perfect example.


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Mapping the Infrared Universe - Part 1

Mapping the Infrared Universe - Part 1


This image is a map of the portion of the sky covered by the preliminary release of WISE data. WISE surveyed the entire sky in four infrared wavelengths in 2010. On April 14, 2011, the WISE team released data representing 57 percent of the sky as seen by WISE.


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Nebula SH 2-235

WISE Eyes Evolution of Massive Stars


In the Perseus spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy, opposite the galactic center, lies the nebula SH 2-235. As seen in visible light, SH 2-235 appears to be a small amber-colored dust cloud that spans about a tenth the size of the full moon.


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Circinus galaxy

A Super Special Galaxy


There's something special going on in the nearby Circinus galaxy, as revealed by this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.


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A Celestial Shamrock

A Celestial Shamrock


Many consider the shamrock to be a symbol of rebirth and life, making it a fitting symbol for St. Patrick's Day, which happens to occur around the same time as the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.


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Beyond the Veil

Beyond the Veil


This large mosaic image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, features the wreckage of an exploded star, as well as other stars nearing the end of their lives.


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Supergiant Star Near Giraffe's Hind Foot

Supergiant Star Near Giraffe's Hind Foot


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this colorful image of the nebula BFS 29 surrounding the star CE-Camelopardalis, found hovering in the band of the night sky comprising the Milky Way.


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WISE's Last Light

WISE's Last Light


On the morning of February 1, 2011, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, took its last snapshot of the sky. This "last light" image is reminiscent of the "first light" image from WISE, taken only 13 months prior. WISE's final picture shows thousands of stars in a patch of the Milky Way galaxy, covering an area three times the size of the full moon, in the constellation Perseus. In the upper left corner, a faint wispy cloud can be seen bending around a pulsating star called EV Persei. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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This image captured by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows of one of our closest neighboring galaxies, Messier 33.

WISE Spies a Galactic Neighbor


This image captured by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows of one of our closest neighboring galaxies, Messier 33. Also named the Triangulum galaxy (after the constellation it's found in), M33 is one of largest members in our small neighborhood of galaxies -- the Local Group. The Local Group consists of about 30 galaxies that are gravitationally bound and travel together through the universe.


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This infrared image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

Chasing Chickens in the Lambda Centauri Nebula


This infrared image from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the Lambda Centauri nebula, a star-forming cloud in our Milky Way galaxy, also known as the Running Chicken nebula.


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To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Explorer, or WISE

A Collage of Nearby Galaxies


To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, the mission team has put together this image showing just a sample of the millions of galaxies that have been imaged by WISE during its survey of the entire sky.


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An Explosion of Infrared Color

An Explosion of Infrared Color


This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Also known as the Jellyfish nebula, IC 443 is particularly interesting because it provides a look into how stellar explosions interact with their environment. IC 443 can be found near the star Eta Geminorum, which lies near Castor, one of the twins in the constellation Gemini. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


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Three nebulae that are part of the giant Orion Molecular Cloud

A Flame in Orion's Belt


This mosaic image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, features three nebulae that are part of the giant Orion Molecular Cloud.


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View of a runaway star racing away from its original home

WISE Catches a Runaway Star in Flames


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this view of a runaway star racing away from its original home. Seen here surrounded by a glowing cloud of gas and dust, the star AE Aurigae appears to be on fire. Appropriately, the cloud is called the Flaming Star nebula.


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The first cool brown dwarf captured by the WISE spacecraft

Collecting Brown Dwarfs in the Night Sky


That green dot in the middle of this image might look like an emerald amidst glittering diamonds, but it is actually a dim star belonging to a class called brown dwarfs.


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Star Formation in the Circinus Molecular Cloud Complex

Star Formation in the Circinus Molecular Cloud Complex


The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has uncovered a striking population of young stellar objects in a complex of dense, dark clouds in the southern constellation of Circinus.


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The reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001

Dark Reflections in the Southern Cross


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this colorful image of the reflection nebula IRAS 12116-6001. This cloud of interstellar dust cannot be seen directly in visible light, but WISE's detectors observed the nebula at infrared wavelengths.


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The Cocoon Nebula

Cosmic Cocoon


The aptly named Cocoon nebula is featured in this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.


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Star-forming cloud of dust and gas located in the constellation of Cepheus

The Dark Heart of the King


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a hidden star-forming cloud of dust and gas located in the constellation of Cepheus. Cepheus, father of Andromeda, was a mythological king in the ancient Greek world. This image of dark nebulae lies near the heart of the king, as imagined by ancient Greek astronomers.


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the reflection nebula DG 129

In the Grip of the Scorpion's Claw


Gripped in the claw of the constellation Scorpius sits the reflection nebula DG 129, a cloud of gas and dust that reflects light from nearby, bright stars.


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Nebula LBN 114.55+00.22 as seen by WISE

A Nebula by Any Other Name


Nebulae are enormous clouds of dust and gas occupying the space between the stars. Some have pretty names to match their good looks, while others have much more utilitarian names. Such is the case with LBN 114.55+00.22, seen here in an image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.


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Messier 74 galaxy

A Spiral Galaxy is Visited by a Trojan War Hero


It's a bird! It's a plane! Nope, it's an asteroid tracking its way across the sky with a beautiful spiral galaxy in the background.


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WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose

WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose


Unicorns and roses are usually the stuff of fairy tales, but a new cosmic image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros, or the Unicorn.


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Omega Centauri

Omega Centauri


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured a favorite observing target of amateur astronomers -- Omega Centauri.


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cluster, AFGL 490

WISE Reveals a Hidden Star Cluster


The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has seen a cluster of newborn stars enclosed in a cocoon of dust and gas in the constellation Camelopardalis.


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Vela Molecular Cloud Ridge

WISE Peers Into the Stellar Darkness


New stars are forming inside this giant cloud of dust and gas as seen in infrared light by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.


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Pleiades cluster of stars seen in infrared

Seven Sisters Get WISE


This image shows the famous Pleiades cluster of stars as seen through the eyes of WISE, or NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.


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Tarantula Nebula

WISE Spies the Tarantula Nebula


Sending chills down the spine of all arachnophobes is the Tarantula nebula, seen in this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).


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Messier 83

Southern Pinwheel


This image from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the nearby galaxy Messier 83, or M83 for short.


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65/P Gunn

WISE Catches Comet 65-P Gunn


This image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) features comet 65/P Gunn.


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spiral galaxy NGC 6744

NGC 6744 – A Sibling of the Milky Way


This image of spiral galaxy NGC 6744 from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a mosaic of frames covering an area three full moons tall and three full moons wide (1.56 by 1.56 degrees).


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Heart and Soul nebulae seen in infrared mosaic

Heart and Soul


The Heart and Soul nebulae are seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.


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Seagull nebula in infrared

Seagull Nebula -- Running with the Big Dog


The Seagull nebula, seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, draws its common name from it resemblance to a gull in flight.


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Tadpole nebula.

Asteroid Caught Marching Across Tadpole Nebula


A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, showcases the Tadpole nebula, and asteroids that just happened to be cruising by.


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Infrared image of the star Menkhib

Menkhib and the California Nebula


This infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, features one of the bright stars in the constellation Perseus, named Menkhib .


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A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars.

WISE Captures a Cosmic Rose


A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars.


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WISE 'First-Light' Image

WISE 'First-Light' Image


This infrared snapshot of a region in the constellation Carina near the Milky Way.


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Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Artist's Concept)

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer


The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission will survey the entire sky in a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum called the mid-infrared with far greater sensitivity than any previous mission or program ever has.


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Asteroid Belt Bird's Eye View

Asteroid Belt Bird's Eye View


This diagram shows a bird's eye view of our asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars (red) and Jupiter (purple). NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will see hundreds of thousands of asteroids with diameters larger than 3 kilometers (1.9 miles).


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The Next Generation of Infrared Views

The Next Generation of Infrared Views


The image on the left shows an infrared view of the center of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by the 1983 Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), which surveyed the whole sky with only 62 pixels. The image on the right shows an infrared view similar to what NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), will see.


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All-Sky Infrared Survey

All-Sky Infrared Survey


This infrared view of the whole sky highlights the flat plane of our Milky Way galaxy (line across middle of image). The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will take a similar infrared census of the whole sky, only with much improved resolution and sensitivity.


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InfraNed

InfraNed


This infrared image of Ned Wright, WISE principal investigator at UCLA, shows heat, with warm objects appearing brighter than cool ones.


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Freezing Hydrogen

Freezing Hydrogen


An engineer loads hydrogen gas into the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, in a clean room at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The hydrogen is cooled and frozen inside a Thermos-like bottle, called the cryostat, which keeps the science instrument cold.


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WISE Spacecraft in Clean Room

WISE Spacecraft in Clean Room


The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, in the clean room at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colo.


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New Cool Stars

New Cool Stars


Astronomers think there are roughly as many brown dwarfs as regular stars like our sun, but brown dwarfs are often too cool to find using visible light. These tiny orbs are similar to stars but they are cooler and less massive.


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Brown Dwarf Comparison

Brown Dwarf Comparison


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will uncover many "failed" stars, or brown dwarfs, in infrared light. This diagram shows a brown dwarf in relation to Earth, Jupiter, a low-mass star and the sun.


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A Look Inside WISE

A Look Inside WISE


The telescope on the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is shown here with the aperture cover removed. The telescope's primary mirror is located at the end of the open tube.


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A Robot or a Science Instrument?

A Robot or a Science Instrument?


This image shows the bottle-like tank that houses the science instrument on NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mission (some say it resembles the Star Wars robot R2-D2). This tank, called a cryostat, contains frozen hydrogen that chills the instrument.


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Mapping the Infrared Sky

Mapping the Infrared Sky


This artist's conception shows NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mapping the whole sky in infrared. The mission will unveil hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies.


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WISE Telescope

WISE Telescope


The 40 cm diameter WISE telescope. The WISE telescope is an all aluminum optical system that will produce images of the sky with 2.75 arcsec resolution in four infrared spectral bands.


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WISE Imager Optics

WISE Imager Optics


The WISE back-end imager optics. This picture shows the imager optics which are mounted at the back of the optical system.


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View Down the Barrel of the WISE Telescope

View Down the Barrel of the WISE Telescope


View looking down the barrel of the WISE telescope. This image shows the 40 cm WISE primary mirror, which is the largest optical element in the WISE system.


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WISE Cryostat

WISE Cryostat


Initial assembly of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, cryostat. The cryostat is a 2-stage solid hydrogen dewar that is used to cool the WISE optics and detectors. Here the cryostat internal structures are undergoing their initial vacuum pumpdown.


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WISE Spacecraft is Readied for Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base

WISE Spacecraft is Readied for Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base


The WISE spacecraft is situated on a work stand. At left on the spacecraft is the fixed panel solar array. In front, the square is the HGA Slotted Array (Ku-Band).


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WISE Spacecraft Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base

WISE Spacecraft Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base


NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft sits with its protective covering.


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