NASA's Hubble telescope captures photos of farthest galaxies yet, WISE Satellite's first images released
By David Logan
NASA has released images of the oldest galaxies yet to be clearly photographed. The Galaxies are an astounding 13 billion years or more old, meaning the universe was less than 1 billion years of age when the light from these galaxies was released, roughly 650 million years old. Surely this settles disputes of NASA spending so much money on the Hubble updating and repair mission recently, as well as on the WISE (Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer) satellite, that recently captured its first images. Hubble has been in orbit for about 20 years, and has changed our view of the universe greatly.
The WISE satellite's mission meanwhile, is to use its sensitive infrared cameras to capture the nearest and cool stars, the origin of stellar planetary systems and the most luminous galaxies in the universe. Eventually WISE will make more than a million pictures, covering the entire sky. Calibration of the capturing mirror, which will allow it to take still images as it continuously scans the sky by swiveling, must be finished before complete maps can be recorded. WISE must use this swiveling mirror to counteract its continuous motion.
Also making 2010 a big year for NASA, this is the last expected year for space shuttle missions as it sets its eyes on the return to the moon missions. Five more flights have been planned for the shuttle program, leaving a gap between it and the new Aries program still in development.
The Hubble Space Telescope, an orbiting observatory launched in 1990, circles Earth high above the atmosphere. Image credit: NASA