Talk:Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

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Launch Date Keeps Being Postponed[edit]

As of 0026 PDT on 10 Dec 2009, the launch will be no earlier than 0609 on 12 Dec 2009. The launch was postponed from 11 Dec 2009 due to an issue with the Delta II launch vehicle. Additional postponement due to weather is likely; additional postponement due to other issues is, of course, always possible.

CraigMiloRogers (talk) 09:06, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

It's now Monday.

EDIT: Coulda swore I signed that. (talk) 12:56, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Mission Length Resolution Needed[edit]

The JPL Web site for the project expects the primary mission to last 10 months: 1 month for checkout, 6 months for the initial survey pass, then an additional period of approx. 3 months, ending when the science instruments run out of solid hydrogen coolant.

At a presentation by a WISE scientist, it was explained that the mission has two coolants. Two detectors are cooled by solid hydrogen, and two are cooled by liquid hydrogen. There was some ambiguity in the presentation: perhaps he meant that two detectors require solid hydrogen coolant, but two could operate when only liquid hydrogen remained (i.e., a single cooling system, with two phases of coolant). The opinion was expressed that it is hoped that WISE will be able to continue surveying, in a reduced capacity, after the solid hydrogen is no longer available.

CraigMiloRogers (talk) 09:05, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

In the 10 Aug 2005 paper "Preliminary Design of The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)" I read "Nominal on-orbit lifetime of 7 months" (p.9) but it also says "Cryostat Type 2-stage solid hydrogen, Cryostat Lifetime 13 months + 3.25 months margin" (Table 1, p.2-3). I don't know how to reconcile these two figures. The 13 months may include some months before launch sitting on the ground, or the 7 month mission length is conservative. Or, between the paper in 2005 and launch in 2009 the design may have changed to reduce size/weight. Bealevideo (talk) 21:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Seven months is the figure I've seen as being the primary mission length. There is a plan for a "warm mission" that would continue to operate instruments after the hydrogen reaches a critical temperature, lasting until the hydrogen gets too warm for any useful results to be obtained. This may be the reason for the 13+ month second figure that Bealevideo found. Hmm. Huntster (t @ c) 17:39, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The survey will be at least 500 times more sensitive than IRAS[edit]

This is very misleading. The resolution of IRAS was about 70" and that of WISE will be about 6". That's only about 12 times the resolution, not 500 times. (Mollwollfumble (talk) 01:43, 3 September 2009 (UTC))

I'm slightly confused - you have calculated the improvement in angular resolution, while querying the sensitivity expectations. I have added a line or two on the sensitivity in the Science section, if that is any help. Iridia (talk) 04:25, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Detecting Dyson spheres?[edit]

Will this telescope help with detecting Dyson spheres? If so, perhaps the article should mention it even though it might not be an explicit objective of the mission. - LM 2009-12-15 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Likewise, should we mention that WISE will easily be able to prove or disprove the existence of the hypothetical nemesis star? Brian Tamaki (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

"micron" not correct usage for 10^-6 meter ?[edit]

As of 3 March 2010, Gene Nygaard removed "microns" and replaced them with "micrometers", his edit note mentions that "microns were thrown out in the '60s".

It's probably no big deal. But I find it confusing, because the very article that is referenced, [4] by Mainzer (2005), uses those units! To quote from the abstract of the referenced article, "[WISE...] will survey the entire sky in four bands from 3.3 to 23 microns". So the term is in current use. I don't have a reference as to what is formally correct. See also: which mentions: "NOTE: The American spelling of "micrometer" is rarely used (micron is typically used instead), due to the existence of a measuring device of the same name."

Bealevideo (talk) 07:19, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Microns are fine. They're not the SI name for the unit. So? Not everyone uses SI. In particular, astronomers and electrical engineers talk in microns. --Trovatore (talk) 01:11, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree. There's nothing wrong with microns, and if the sources for an article use that term, so should the article. Huntster (t @ c) 05:42, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

size range of "brown dwarf"[edit]

Right now, the article contains the sentence: "A small brown dwarf of 2–3 Jupiter masses would be visible at a distance of up to two to three parsecs.[10]" and that reference ( ) says this would be a "lightweight brown dwarf".

I don't know if this is needlessly pedantic, but according to brown dwarfs start at 13 Mj and anything smaller than that is either a "sub-brown dwarf" or a planet. There is also an article by that name: Bealevideo (talk) 05:50, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Any More Data on the Two Brown Dwarf Bodies Discovered by WISE?[edit]

Any More Data on the Two Brown Dwarf Bodies Discovered by WISE?

Have they been parallaxed (trajectory determined) and if so where are they in relation to our solar system? Any such data should be added to the article and properly cited. (talk) 01:09, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

WISE science data schedule[edit]

Article says: "A planned release of survey data (as and overlapping set of 4 megapixel images) expected in April 2010, has apparently been delayed." Is there a reference for this? I thought the initial data release wasn't planned until 2011? Likewise, article says "The WISE group's bid for continued funding for an extended "warm mission" was recently scored low by a NASA review board, in part because of a lack of outside groups publishing on WISE Data." This seems odd, given that if no data is released yet, as planned, clearly no outside groups will have published on it yet.

"Data from the mission will be released to the astronomical community in two stages: a preliminary release will take place six months after the end of the survey, or about 16 months after launch, and a final release is scheduled for 17 months after the end of the survey, or about 27 months after launch." Source: Bealevideo (talk) 20:25, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Any Pressure on the Wise Team to Release Results Earlier?[edit]

Why are they releasing it all at once in April 2011? Why can't they release some sooner?

Are there any citations available for anyone pressuring them to release some findings sooner? (talk) 18:23, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

This is standard procedure for science results. This allows the primary investigators and related folks to prepare their own research papers, and to get all the data composed and ready for release. This really isn't unusual. Huntster (t @ c) 04:08, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Will there be an April Data Release?[edit]

And if so, when in April?

I'm having a hard time finding out either way, based on articles I have read so far. (talk) 12:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Data are online now. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:11, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

WISE object notability[edit]

Please see Talk:WISEPC J150649.97+702736.0 where a discussion about the notability of WISE objects is open. -- (talk) 06:53, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

WISE Reactivated to Hunt for Asteroids[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Hibernation period[edit]

"The spacecraft was put into hibernation on February 1, 2011.". This is interesting. How do you put the spacecraft into hibernation - or rather, why? This article would benefit from explanation why the telescope was shut down for 2 years, and an article on hibernation (spacecraft) may be useful to create. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:20, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this article needs a bette explanation of the purpose/need for hibernation. Right now it is written like it expects the reader to already know a bunch of background info. Jess_Riedel (talk) 18:20, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Authored, but very brief. User:dbenford 04:28, 7 Feb 2019
Any idea of the status of this spacecraft/mission? Was it retired? Placed again in hibernation? Is it active? No mission end in the text and infobox implies the mission Is ongoing. Rowan Forest (talk) 00:02, 11 March 2019 (UTC)


Could you please add the NASA WISE website to the infobox? The website in the infobox states: "Sep 30, 2014 This site is now a rich archive of WISE's extraordinary work." If you are looking for news dated after Sep 30, 2014, you can also visit the WISE pages at NASA( or JPL ( I added the NASAWISE website, but someone removed the website. Thank you, Jcardazzi (talk) 12:07, 22 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

Whoops, I must have overwritten your edit when I redid the infobox (I had it in limbo for a bit). I'll probably just switch out the two for that one...three is a bit much for the infobox. Huntster (t @ c) 12:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Review number of objects discovered[edit]

The NEOWISE section states that "as of August 2015, the WISE/NEOWISE discovery statistics lists a total of 211 objects."

But this news release from yesterday, November 11, 2015 states: "Since it began operations in December 2009, NASA's NEOWISE mission has observed 158,000 asteroids and discovered more than 35,000."

I am not familiar with this mission and I don't want to do a mistake, so I will leave it to someone familiar with it to review. Thanks, BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:20, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

BatteryIncluded, I've tried to clarify the wording in that section. The mission has discovered more than 35,000 minor planets, of which 218 (now) were near-Earth objects. Huntster (t @ c) 20:09, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! BatteryIncluded (talk) 00:03, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Was the mission extended again in 2016[edit]

Article says mission extended in 2013 for 3 years - but then no update after 2016 to say shutdown or extended again ? - Rod57 (talk) 15:36, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Rod57: There's been no mission extension announcements, but it is definitely still operating. It is expected that its orbital precession will force an end to the mission no earlier than June 2020, at which time it will not be able to avoid sunlight entering the telescope. Huntster (t @ c) 08:13, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
See for that info above, haven't had time to add it to the article yet. Huntster (t @ c) 13:04, 1 July 2019 (UTC)