NASA mission yields data bonanza

Aug. 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM   |   0 comments

PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A jackpot of newly discovered supermassive black holes and hot, dusty galaxies are in the latest data from NASA's WISE mission, the U.S. space agency says.

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission has revealed millions of black hole candidates across the universe and about 1,000 even dustier objects thought to be among the brightest galaxies ever found, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported Thursday.

These powerful galaxies, burning brightly with infrared light, are nicknamed hot DOGs (for Dust-Obscured Galaxies), JPL said.

That wasn't all the WISE mission has turned up, researchers said.

"WISE has exposed a menagerie of hidden objects," said Hashima Hasan, WISE program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We've found an asteroid dancing ahead of Earth in its orbit, the coldest star-like orbs known and now, supermassive black holes and galaxies hiding behind cloaks of dust."

The WISE mission has scanned the whole sky twice in infrared light, completing its survey in early 2011, and all data

from the mission has been released publicly, allowing astronomers to dig in and make new discoveries, NASA said.

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