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Cosmic Diary

Let’s Get To Work

16 Jan 2010, 20:00 UTC
Let’s Get To Work
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The days have started to blur together lately.
Tens of thousands of images a day, tens of Gigabytes, millions of stars, asteroids, and who knows what else have made for a busy week. We are finally, officially out of our 30 day in-orbit checkout phase, and we have started the survey! We’ll pause for a moment to pop the Champagne, but now it’s time to get to work.
One of our many data quality checking pages displays snapshots of each image that you can scroll through. Rotating through the sky, the heavens wheel past as you flick the mouse. It’s a strange feeling to be sitting in an ordinary-looking office in a plain little building, watching a skyful of blazing stars freshly hauled in from our spacecraft. When I eventually go outside to look for food, I feel like I’ve just arrived from another planet!
Here’s a little movie to give you some idea of the advance in sensitivity and resolution that we’re seeing. Even though other telescopes like the Spitzer Space Telescope have vastly improved sensitivity and resolution, they have only surveyed about 1% of the entire sky in detail. So if you want a look at most ...

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