Monday, March 22, 2010
The WISE telescope has now carried out its mission for a bit over 3 months, and since the mission length is a mere 10 months it's making quite rapid progress in mapping the sky. Just as NASA missions have pages showing the current location of its probes, WISE has a page here showing the current progress made in mapping the sky. I've been taking screen shots of this page since I found out about it, and the first one is here from 34 days back:
The current progress looks like this:
Despite its technical prowess, WISE needs the continual support of astronomers on the ground in order to confirm a lot of the asteroids it views, as the short average observation time for each asteroid (about 30 hours) usually isn't enough to pinpoint their orbits.