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Comets WISE -- A Family Portrait

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011



During its one-year mission, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mapped the entire sky in infrared light. Among the multitudes of astronomical bodies that have been discovered by the NEOWISE portion of the WISE mission are 20 comets. This collage shows those 20 new comets together in a kind of family portrait. The fuzzy background in each picture is due to random fluctuations in infrared light, primarily from dust in our own solar system. Stars cannot be seen because they were subtracted during the process of combining multiple WISE pictures to make this view centered on the moving comets. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

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