CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2011
 29 September 2011

29 September 2011

Speaker: Edward (Ned) Wright (UCLA)

Title:Exploring the Universe with WISE

Abstract: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a NASA Medium Explorer (MIDEX) that surveyed the entire sky in 4 mid-infrared bands at 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 microns with vastly greater sensitivity than previous all-sky surveys at these wavelengths. WISE observed everything that is further from the Sun than the Earth, and this includes minor planets, comets, nearby brown dwarfs and star forming regions both in the Milky Way and in distant galaxies. The WISE long wavelength channels are very powerful for detecting Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies, and WISE should detect the most luminous galaxies in the Universe. The WISE short wavelength channels are very powerful for detecting old cold brown dwarfs, and WISE should detect the nearest brown dwarfs to the Sun. WISE has also measured the radiometric diameters of nearly 160,000 asteroids. WISE has a 40 cm cryogenic telescope, 1024x1024 arrays, a scan mirror to freeze images on the arrays while the spacecraft scans continuously, and takes 47'x47' images every 11 seconds in all four bands from an IRAS/COBE style Sun-synchronous nearly polar low Earth orbit. WISE launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on 14 Dec 2009, ejected its cover on 29 Dec 2009, and entered routine survey operations on 14 Jan 2010. It completed fully sky coverage on 17 July 2010, and then starting warming up in early August. WISE ran with its 3 shortest bands until the end of September, and then with its two shortest bands until 1 Feb 2011.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )


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