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WISEabbrev. for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. A NASA satellite planned for a possible launch in 2008 that will scan the whole sky in the wavelength range from 3.5 to 23 microns in search of new sources of infrared radiation, including nearby cool stars and the most distant and very luminous galaxies. Using a cryogenically cooled space telescope, the survey is expected to be 1000 times as sensitive as IRAS and should add considerably to the catalog of known infrared sources by identifying millions of new objects. It is also hoped that WISE will supply the James Webb Space Telescope with a full list of observational targets.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006