The NASA NEOWISE mission has been receiving information from the spacecraft for the third year. Over the past year, he was able to identify 97 previously unknown objects: 28 - near-earth, 64 - in the asteroid belt, 5 - comets.
Since the launch, the device has found 693 near-earth objects (114 new ones). The mission was resumed in December 2013. The team created this animation to display the findings and complement the characteristics of our system.
It is important that NEOWISE not only searches for new objects, but also delivers important information about those already studied. He also moves us one step higher in the development of methods for detecting and characterizing nearby formations.
Near-Earth objects are called comets and asteroids, driven by planetary gravitational forces and approaching a critically close distance to Earth. Among the finds, 10 belong to potentially dangerous threats. During the third year of operation, the device made 2.6 million frames of the sky in infrared light. They were added to a special archive, where 7.7 million images are now stored.
In addition, observations allow finding such rare objects as the comet C / 2010 L5 WISE. The analysis shows that she experienced a short flash during the passage through the inner solar system.
Comets with sudden flashes are usually not found, so we were lucky to fix such a rare case. This is called the “tail”, which helps to understand the size and number of ejected particles.
The spacecraft was launched in 2009 as WISE. After the main mission was completed in 2011, it was put into hibernation mode, but in September 2013 it was activated as NEOWISE and asked for a new mission: to search for objects potentially dangerous for the Earth.