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Geplaatst op 18 februari 2010 - 11:22

Comet’s 10 Million-Mile Tail Lights Up in Infrared

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NASA’s new infrared telescope has released its first images.

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has returned more than 250,000 raw images. To celebrate its performance thus far, NASA selected four of them for processing and publication.

Above, you can see the comet, Siding Spring, which was discovered in 2007 by Australian observers. Its 10 million-mile-long tail is made of glowing dust pushed away from its nucleus by the solar wind.

WISE launched on Dec. 14, 2009 and took in its first starlight at the end of the month. The telescope is intended to survey the entire sky looking for cosmic oddities. The mission will also provide better data on the average size of asteroids in the solar system, which will refine scientists’ estimates of how often a dangerous near-Earth object hits the Earth.


Read More http://www.wired.com...r#ixzz0fsjbA8lI

Bron: wired.com

Read More http://www.wired.com...r#ixzz0fsjSJiYa

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