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Emily LakdawallaMarch 7, 2010

WISE's weekly featured image

Every space mission has its own style of public outreach; you never know quite what you're going to get until it launches and is in the full swing of operations. So I'm pleased to point out that the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE) has started an "image of the week" feature on its website. It's a survey mission, systematically capturing photo after photo of the heavens in a pre-ordained geometric pattern, so I can see the mission scientists checking each day's downlink to validate the data quality and periodically saying, "hey, this one is really pretty." Now they can flag those pretty ones and post them for the public's benefit. Here's the first such image. Do click to enlarge; it is HUGE and hugely detailed.

Since WISE is mostly an astronomy mission and this is mostly a planetary blog, I probably won't be posting their images too often here -- but I couldn't pass up the very first. Thanks, WISE team, for sharing your brand-new data with the public!

Read more: pretty pictures, WISE and NEOWISE, stars and galaxies

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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