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Hey, thanks for blowing my mind, guys! I had no idea there were short-period retrograde objects. Is the basic idea that these objects started out as long-period retrograde comets and got herded into shorter orbits by Jupiter, or is there a more interesting story behind any of them?

(I note with great amusement that the first-discovered was named Dioretsa! [Retrograde? Dioretsa... think about it.])
I am likewise impressed & enlightened, Holder! (Yeah, diggin' the name, Gsnorg... biggrin.gif )
Dioretsa am I? I'm a asteroid! tongue.gif
This thing's worth a mission just for the hours of nomenclature fun to be had mapping it. biggrin.gif
Holder of the Two Leashes
WISE has depleted the coolant in one of its two tanks, and has begun warming up. One detector no longer functioning. All others working for now, and expected to work for some time.

Cooling status report
I guess WISE got its mission extension after all. I wonder what changed between these two updates.

NASA's Youngest Space Telescope Shouldn't Get Longer Life, Panel Says

NASA's WISE Mission Warms Up but Keeps Chugging Along
I can't find anything more than you. It would seem the panel's decision wasn't executive.
Greg Hullender
They realized their earlier decision was really unwise.

--Greg :-)
The brown dwarf harvest has begun. Emily has a post on it (which alerted me) but this article says more about the number already in the pipeline awaiting confirmation/publication, and the possible eventual total:
Holder of the Two Leashes
Just a quick note in passing. WISE has completed the second survey.

Sky Coverage Map
Greg Hullender
Wonder why no big announcement yet. Could it really be there's nothing closer than Proxima? Or does the analysis just take a lot longer than I imagine it should. (A common problem, I should admit.) :-)

I've got a funny feeling that analyzing data from a survey that covers the entire visible (well, visible in IR) universe might just take a wee bit of time...

Not to mention that if you're going to announce that you've found a major astronomical object closer than Proxima, you really want to make sure you've got it right.
Holder of the Two Leashes

It's possible I jumped the gun by a few days, I don't really know. I assumed that when the last dark blue streaks disappeared from the WISE coverage map, that would mean that the second survey was done. But it's possible that some high coverage areas from the first sky scan (which could show up as 16X+) have yet to have their six month checkup. If so, then we're still just a matter of days away from completion. The first survey ran from January 14 to July 17.

At any rate, here is the latest. There is going to be a public data release sometime in April. It will cover half the sky from the first survey. So, I expect that we may be hearing about some significant discoveries, if any, before then. Particularly if they are present in the area covered by the release.

Ran into one of the WISE team and got a little more information on operations. Apparently, the warm mission extension was funded primarily to detect and characterize NEOs, and includes operations only through the end of January.
Greg Hullender
I suppose at this point a fair question would be whether there would be any scientific value in an additional 6 or 12 months, given that the satellite is already in orbit and such.

Greg Hullender
I see they're still planning for a public release of data (some of the data) in April, so if they've got a big announcement, they'll probably want to make it before that.

Freely accessible NEOWISE paper with a summary of discoveries so far and some nice comet pictures smile.gif
NASA's NEOWISE Completes Scan for Asteroids and Comets

Looking at fig. 3 in the paper I would say the scan for asteroids needed another 2 months to complete.
The scan is complete. Read the figure caption:

The drop in density of objects observed near (+2, +2)
AU in the gure is due to the exhaustion of the secondary tank's cryogen on 5 August, 2010,
resulting in the loss of band W4.
Some brown dwarf news:

Large proper motion!
How long before BrownDwarfHunters starts, eh? That would be an interesting project!
WISE has found the first-discovered Earth Trojan asteroid. Neat!
NEAT didn't find it, WISE did!
Great find! I think that the WISE dataset is gonna keep on giving for many years to come.
on the historical side, Earth Trojans had been searched since at least three decades
WISE discovers 100+ brown dwarfs, including 6 Y-dwarfs, one with an estimated surface temperature of 80F.

arxiv links
First 100 WISE brown dwarfs

Edited to add.

Table 8 in the fist paper lists lower limits of the space density of various spectral types of brown dwarfs. The sum of the values for brown dwarfs T6 or cooler is 0.00455 per cubic parsec. For comparison the value for stars in the solar neighborhood is ~0.1 per cubic parsec.
NASA To Host News Conference On Asteroid Search Findings WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT on Thurs., Sept. 29, to reveal near-Earth asteroid findings and implications for future research. The briefing will take place in the NASA Headquarters James E. Webb Auditorium, located at 300 E St. SW in Washington.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, launched in December 2009, captured millions of images of galaxies and objects in space. During the news conference, panelists will discuss results from an enhancement of WISE called Near-Earth Object WISE (NEOWISE) that hunted for asteroids.

The panelists are:
-- Lindley Johnson, NEO program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
-- Tim Spahr, director, Minor Planet Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.
-- Lucy McFadden, scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

The briefing also will be streamed live, with a chat available, at:

For more information about the mission, visit:

Holder of the Two Leashes
WISE is going to be reactivated in September for a three year extended mission. It will only be to survey near earth objects, half of the infrared detectors don't work anymore (no coolant).

JPL press release

Article at Spaceflight Now
Holder of the Two Leashes
According to the latest analysis of WISE data from the prime survey, there are no close by objects the size of Saturn or larger, out to about 10,000 AU. That's a little less than two light months distance. And no Jupiters out to at least 26,000 AU, over a third of a light year.

No Planet X
Ah... too bad. I was hoping "Tyche" would turn out to be real...
Looks like K. Luhman has pulled yet another very close brown dwarf out of the WISE dataset.

At just over 2pc, 250k and under the Deuterium burning limit, this is our first ultra close free floating planet!

Abstract of discovery paper here:

With that mass (3-10 Jupiter masses) and temperature, why is it called a "brown dwarf" at all? I thought that was above 13 Jupiter masses... is it because it didn't form in a protoplanetary disk?

Press release here:

Warm Spitzer used to confirm. ("I'm not dead yet...")
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