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NEOWISE: Ten Years into a Seven Month Mission

Presentation #208.01 in the session “Asteroid Surveys: Shapes and Sizes”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
NEOWISE: Ten Years into a Seven Month Mission

The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) is currently in its 7th year of scanning the sky to find and characterize asteroids and comets that come close to the Earth after being awoken from hibernation in 2013 (Mainzer et al. 2014). Using the original WISE spacecraft that was launched in 2009 on a 7-month primary mission (Wright et al. 2010), the instrument and spacecraft have demonstrated the capabilities and importance of a space-based infrared survey for the study of near-Earth objects, while producing a multi-epoch archive of the infrared sky that is heavily used by the community. The mission’s publicly available image atlases and extracted source lists have resulted in a number of advances in our understanding of planetary science and astrophysics. The survey also discovered the Great Comet of 2020, garnering public attention from across the globe. Here we present an overview of some of the major results from NEOWISE from across the subfields of astronomy and planetary science, including the Great Comet, C/2020 F3 NEOWISE.

  1. Mainzer et al. 2014, Initial Performance of the NEOWISE Reactivation Mission. ApJ 792, 30

  2. Wright et al. 2010, The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE): Mission Description and Initial On-orbit Performance. AJ 140, 1868

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