back to article NASA's WISE eyes skies

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has completed its first survey of the entire sky, having spent six months snapping over one million images of the heavens. Edward Wright, the principal mission investigator at the University of California, enthused: "Like a globe-trotting shutterbug, WISE has completed a world …


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  1. Parax


    Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

    Survey Explorer? I would hardly call it an explorer it isn't actually going there, I dont consider myself to be an explorer when I sit at home watching travel TV! I always felt that a far more appropriate acronym would have been:

    Wide-field Infrared Survey Experiment

    1. LuMan

      How about..

      ...Wide Angle Night Kamera?

  2. some vaguely opinionated bloke

    chilly H

    "[It] will continue its mission until around October this year, when the hydrogen keeping its instruments nicely chilled finally evaporates away."

    So I suppose that this hydrogen is actually there to keep the instruments above the temperature of space rather than to chill them?

    Otherwise would it not be easier to insulate the instruments from the hot hot body?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Misunderstanding of chilled...

      I like my beer to be "nicely chilled", but if it's been in the freezer, it may well need to warm up for a while before it's _nicely_ chilled.

      chilled != colder

      1. some vaguely opinionated bloke

        @Misunderstanding of chilled

        Kind of my point, like Alaskans using fridges to stop their food freezing etc.

        Though I do take on all the other comments - thank you all 8-)

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Electronic instruments generate heat

      Therefore need coolant.

      Space isn't a good conductor, and radiating heat is hard when you are exposed to pesky hot bodies like the sun.

    3. Luther Blissett

      Purpose of chilled

      They don't want to give away the fact that they are looking for Alien Grays, who I expect like their I/R sensors chilled too - probably called Alien Recreational Spooking Equipment.

      1. Stuart Halliday

        Not just for radiating heat

        CCD scanning devices generate picture noise during the long exposures. So if you can keep it cold you generate less noise on the final image.

        Amateur astronomers have been using dry ice for decades to achieve the same thing.

  3. The Prevaricator


    Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning?

    That doesn't sound very wise to me...

  4. Michael 82

    This and many will be top secret

    I expect that many photos will be kept back. You know, the close ups of the near aliens presence on earth and the ones where 'they' are smiling back at you (pliedes / Zeta reticuli etc).

    I for one cannot wait to meet one of known 23 alien overlords.

    1. ravenviz

      Re: This and many will be top secret

      Er, the image shown actually was of said Pleiades.

      1. Steve Roper


        Yes, but as any good conspiracy theorist can tell you, that picture isn't actually the *real* Pleiades, that's the laser-projected computer graphics NASA beams into space to cover what's actually in that part of the sky!

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