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Heat-seeking WISE spacecraft to scan the skies

Infrared instrument promises bonanza of finds, from asteroids to remote galaxies

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11:35am, December 10, 2009

Editor's note: After this story was posted, the WISE craft lifted off at 9:09 a.m. EST on December 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A Delta II rocket deposited the craft into a polar orbit hundreds of kilometers above Earth. A later boost will put the craft into a circular orbit at an altitude of 525 kilometers.

Veteran astronomer Ned Wright is already considered pretty smart. But soon he’ll be getting wise.

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