New WISE data release

WISE has released a new dataset.  It is a re-processing of the data taken from 1 Oct 2010 to 1 Feb 2011 after all the hydrogen coolant was gone.  During this “warm” WISE period only the 3.4 and 4.6 micron channels worked.  A preliminary version of this data using the “cold” WISE calibrations and point

I saw WISE yesterday

I got up at 6 in the morning and saw WISE pass over Los Angeles from North to South. It was easily visible in binoculars. WISE reached its maximum altitude of 80 degrees in the Western sky, while the Sun was 10 degrees below the horizon, giving a 70 degree phase angle. You too can

Last call for WISE

Today (Feb 17, 2011) at 20h UT I sent the command to turn off the WISE telemetry transmitter. No further telemetry passes are currently planned. The telescope interface flange temperature has risen to 184.1 K (from 73.5 K) due to looking at the Earth for half the orbit since we stopped the survey scans on

WISE is shutting down

WISE has completed its survey of the main belt of asteroids and is going into hibernation mode today. While it is sad to see a functioning space infrared telescope shut down, WISE has observed the whole sky – twice! – and is pushing the confusion limit in its shortest band, so the value of additional

The Eclipse from WISE

WISE flew through the Moon’s shadow over the North pole during the 04 Jan 2011 solar eclipse. The plot below shows the number of coarse digital Sun sensors giving usable output, and the number fell to zero during the eclipse. Since this eclipse was much shorter than the eclipses by Earth around the June solstice,

COBE turns 21

Today (18 Nov) marks 21 years since the COBE launch. 21st birthdays in the US are often marked by binge drinking. So we could have a joke: Spacecraft walks into a bar, and says “Bartender, I just turned 21.” Bartender: “Great, what’ll you have?” Spacecraft: “Give me 700 liters of liquid helium.”