Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009 Science

First Solar-Powered Telescope that Scans for Dangerous Space Objects


Recently NASA managed to launch a solar-powered infrared telescope called WISE, which stands for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The goal of the telescope is to spot asteroids and comets that could collide with Earth, causing serious damage.

It is worth mentioning that WISE is not the first infrared spacecraft that was launched into space by NASA, surfing through the heavens along with Herschel Space Observatory from European Space Agency and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. However, WISE represents the only telescope able to scan space for earth-threatening space objects. It will spend about 9 months in orbit, taking photographs every 11 seconds. By using radio transmission, all information will be brought to Earth, being downloaded four times a day on NASA's computers, reports SmartPlanet.

At the end of the mission NASA will possess enough data to make a detailed image of the sky, featuring a large number of space objects, including asteroids and comets.

Posted by Maxriter

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