25
Jan 10

WISE discovers its first asteroid

Source: NASA/JPL


The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid
discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light.

The near-Earth object, designated 2010 AB78, was discovered by WISE Jan. 12. After the mission's sophisticated software picked out the moving object against a background of stationary stars, researchers followed up and confirmed the discovery with the University of Hawaii's 2.2-meter (88-inch) visible-light telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea. (read more)

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