Manufactured by Space Dynamics Laboratory, Utah University, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) concluded its expedition around the universe, on Saturday. WISE was on a mission to spot any potential threat, which might be attacking Earth, yet undetected by the ground telescopes.
WISE launched from California, under NASA’s full authority, on December 2009, for the first infrared sky survey in history. The task took six months of extensive work, but still, WISE will not be returning back to Earth until November, which gives the new surveillance technique more time to scope for half the sky again.
The main reason behind the extension of WISE’s mission is that the $320 million funding and the 35 pounds of hydrogen coolant, provided by NASA for WISE, are not exhausted yet.
WISE managed to capture 1.3 million images of the universe from different views; it took images of new galaxies, cool brown dwarf stars and image space rocks that have never been noticed before. WISE also captured images of 100,000 new asteroids, 90 of them act as a direct threat and impose danger on Earth.
Peter Eisenhardt, Project Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said, “the most exciting discoveries may well be objects we haven't yet imagined exist".