Asteroids have a way of getting past our eyes in space, and sometimes reach dangerously close distances without being detected. Stray asteroids getting close to our planet are not a good thing in the least, but then there is also a chance of vast knowledge that can be gained from such heavenly bodies. NASA’s new, solar powered WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) will fill that gap and act as an eye in the space that looks out for asteroids and comets that may threaten the Earth.
The Explorer was launched by means of a Delta II rocket, and will stay in orbit for the next nine months. During this time period, WISE will cover the entire sky and take pictures every 11 seconds. The entirely solar powered explorer will beam back the pictures to earth four times every day. NASA scientists will then get to work on these images to have a clear lookout of the sky and detect threats in the form of asteroids, comets or other objects that may be coming our way.