WISE is shutting down

[ 4 ] Comments

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 surveying is limited. Unless one is searching for transients or variability of course.

About nwright

Ned Wright, 65 years old, is a professor at UCLA. He did far-infrared observations using a 102-cm balloon-borne telescope for his PhD thesis, and has since observed with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, and the space-based COBE, WMAP, Spitzer and WISE missions.

4 Responses to WISE is shutting down

  1. Tom A. says:

    I saw the slew of “overall mission discovery” posts on WISE’s Facebook page today, so I wasn’t surprised to see your post here today.

    Just speaking as someone who followed the WISE mission (I went to the launch!), and as a taxpayer: Thanks so much to you and the team for all your hard work, your ability to stretch the mission to gather even more critical NEO data, and the time and effort the team took to be open to the public. The WISE team has a right to be proud for tackling an important job, and apparently doing it quite well.

    I look forward to nosing around that “International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center” to see how you managed to make all that WISE data accessible, and please all take well deserved vacations!

  2. John B. says:

    On Feb. 15 2011, Time (newsfeed.time.com) is reporting that Daniel Whitmire and John Matese from University of Louisiana at Lafayette claim WISE provides evidence for a planet 4x larger than Jupiter in the Oort cloud. Seems like news; I was expecting to see some comment about this on the Wise page or blog?

  3. Ned Wright says:

    newsfeed.time.com was wrong in many ways.
    WISE has not found evidence for a Jovian planet in the Oort cloud.
    Matese and Whitmire did not say that WISE has found this evidence.

    What is correct is that WISE has collected data that might confirm or contradict the Matese and Whitmire hypothesis. But it will take as much as two years to finish the necessary data analysis.

  4. John B. says:

    Thank you for the clarification. I checked back and I see that time.com has now changed their online article to remove the “proof” claim. I think they need some better science writers.

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