This artist's animation shows NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, rotating in space, revealing all sides of the spacecraft. The spacecraft's orbit is shown next. WISE will orbit over the poles of Earth, staying over the day-night, or terminator, line. Its telescope will always point away from Earth, and its solar panels will face the sun.
The animation then zooms out to show the sun. WISE can be seen surveying the whole sky in infrared, one strip at a time. It will take WISE just six months to map the whole sky. The animation ends with a previous view of the entire sky in infrared.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The mission's principal investigator, Edward Wright, is at UCLA. The mission was competitively selected under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Logan, Utah, and the spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
Animation credit: Ball/NASA/JPL-CaltechPlay animation (11Mb mov)