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Fraser
2004-Oct-07, 04:44 PM
SUMMARY: The closest stars to our Solar System probably haven't been discovered because it's likely they're of a cool, dim class of failed stars called brown dwarfs. But a new mission from NASA called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has recently been approved for development, and it should be able to locate them. Scheduled for launch in 2008, and costing $208 million, WISE will scan the entire sky in infrared, looking for brown dwarfs, planet-forming disks around nearby stars, and colliding galaxies. Eventually it will build up a database of more than one million images, containing hundreds of millions of objects.

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antoniseb
2004-Oct-07, 06:34 PM
This instrument will have a 40cm diameter mirror, and the claims that it will find brown dwarfs seem a little bit of a stretch. Looking at the lead scientist's web-site, nearby brown dwarfs are right on the very edge of what it might detect.

None-the-less, this will be a useful instrument especially for the purpose of providing a look-list for JWST.

StarLab
2004-Oct-08, 03:06 PM
This instrument will have a 40cm diameter mirror, and the claims that it will find brown dwarfs seem a little bit of a stretch. But still, why hadn't we thought of this before?! To me it sounds ingenious, to say the least!

zephyr46
2004-Oct-09, 06:10 AM
Cool!

It will be interesting to see what is found,


None-the-less, this will be a useful instrument especially for the purpose of providing a look-list for JWST

all be it an expensive one.

$200 Million ought to be enough to give scaled compisites enough for a larger spaceship one that could reach the ISS, a cheap personal transport. Hell, the Labor party in Australia was promising more than that to give to loggers trying to stop them cutting down old growth forests.

Well I hope they find some interesting stuff, maybe a nice map of the dust and gas clouds near us, or some Oort Cloud objects and maybe a brown dwarf or free floating planet or two.

antoniseb
2004-Oct-09, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by StarLab@Oct 8 2004, 03:06 PM
But still, why hadn't we thought of this before?! To me it sounds ingenious, to say the least!
'We' did think of this before. This mission has been on the books as a test-bed for some of the JWST technologies. We do not have a lot of experience with making instruments with moving parts and electronics that will all work at near absolute zero in a near vacuum. This mission will test things out so that if things don't work as planned the JWST can be redesigned before being launched to an inaccessable orbit [L2].