Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beauty in the Infrared

OK, this week's post is a cheat... but only because it is so incredibly cool. just posted images form NASA's WISE orbiting telescope, launched in 2009 and shut down in February 2011. The reason for the short lifespan? For one thing, the liquid hydrogen coolant that allowed the 'scope to function at infrared wavelengths ran out, and for another, NASA's funding ran out, so an extended mission was not approved. A pity that, for as JPL has so ably proved over the years, an asset in place (i.e., one that has left Earth's gravity well) is always more valuable than another on the drawing board. But what a haul WISE made! Check out these images, all in the infrared and enhanced for human viewing.

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Welcome to the Missions to the Moon book blog. This is a place to re-live the heady days of the Apollo and Soyuz lunar programs- perhaps the crowning achievements of the 20th Century. Many blog entries will include a new downloadable image or artifact from the space age- items rarely seen and not available in print. It's all in the spirit of my newest book, Missions to the Moon- to remember the great adventure of the Golden Age of space exploration, and ponder what wonders await us in space.

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