Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
WISE launched in 2009, repeatedly mapping the entire sky in infrared light.Visit Mission Website
Dec. 14, 2009
TargetStars and Galaxies
WISE launched in 2009, repeatedly mapping the entire sky in infrared light. Its catalog of three-quarters of a billion objects led to the discovery of the coolest and nearest brown dwarfs — objects intermediate between stars and planets — and of the most luminous galaxies in the Universe.
WISE also discovered many asteroids, and continues to map the infrared sky today as NEOWISE, searching for near-Earth asteroids.
WISE discoveries include:
Thousands of studies making use of WISE data have been published in the scientific literature.
WISE was placed in hibernation in February 2011 after completing its primary astrophysics mission, but in late 2013, the spacecraft was reactivated, renamed NEOWISE and assigned a second mission dedicated to identifying and characterizing the population of near-Earth objects while also providing information about the size and composition of more distant asteroids and comets. The principal investigator for WISE was Edward (Ned) Wright at UCLA. The principal investigator for NEOWISE is Amy Mainzer of JPL.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages and operates the newly activated NEOWISE mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The WISE mission was selected competitively under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
Top science results: