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Jul 3, 2014 – Comet Pan-STARRS Marches Across the Sky
NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 as it swept across our skies in May 2014. Visit

Apr 25, 2014 – NASA's Spitzer and WISE Telescopes Find Close, Cold Neighbor of Sun
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest "brown dwarf" known — a dim, star-like body that surprisingly is as frosty as Earth's North Pole. Visit

Apr 23, 2014 – NEOWISE Resumes Science Data Collection
As of 9:30 a.m., on April 23, 2014, NEOWISE has restarted its continuous collection of science data, and the team will begin analyzing the data to identify near-Earth objects this week.  The team will be carefully monitoring spacecraft performance as they restart the survey. The NEOWISE mission was commanded into safe mode on April 3 following a flight software error.  Visit

Mar. 26, 2014 – The Search for Seeds of Black Holes
How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from WISE has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes. Visit

Jan 30, 2014 – NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries
NASA is inviting the public to help astronomers discover embryonic planetary systems hidden among data from the WISE mission through a new website, DiskDetective.org. Visit

 

 

 
 
Sky Coverage – this map shows the density of coverage by WISE Read more.arrow
 
WISE statement
A starfield with a diagonal line of glowing comets.

Jul 3, 2014 –Comet Pan-STARRS Marches Across the Sky

NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 -- also known as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies in May 2014. The comet is named after the astronomical survey project called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii, which discovered the icy visitor in May 2012. Comet Pan-STARRS hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, from a vast and distant reservoir of comets called the Oort cloud.

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Featured Lessons

Active Astronomy: Classroom Activities for Learning About Infrared Light
A set of hands-on and demonstration activities from NASA’s SOFIA mission designed to complement instruction on the electromagnetic spectrum for middle and high school students. Visit arrow

Size & Scale of the Universe 
The Universe is very, very big. One cannot reasonably create a scale model of the Universe that includes all of its components—from people to superclusters—and simultaneously scales their distances and sizes. This activity attempts to overcome that difficulty by examining the Universe at different realms.

arrow Size and Scale of the Universe Activity (Teacher Guide) (pdf)
arrow Size and Scale Presentation (pptx)
arrow Size and Scale of the Universe Activity (Student Worksheet) (pdf)
arrow Room Size Conversion Calculator (xlsx)
arrow Size and Scale Glossary (pdf)

 

 

 

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