A WISE 'Eye' on the Whole Sky
A Sky Chock-Full of Black Holes
Quasar Drenched in Water Vapor
Exposing Black Holes Disguised in Dust
The circular inset images, obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, show how the new WISE quasars differ from the quasars identified in visible light. Quasars selected in visible light look like stars, as shown in the lower right inset; the cross is a diffraction pattern caused by the bright point source of light. Quasars found by WISE often have more complex appearances, as seen in the Hubble inset near the center. This is because the quasars found by WISE are often obscured or hidden by dust, which blocks their visible light and allows the fainter host galaxy surrounding the black hole to be seen. Image released August 29, 2012.
Galaxies Burn Bright Like High-Wattage 'Light Bulbs'
WISE Hot DOGs — Extremely Bright and Extremely Rare
WISE has identified 1,000 similar candidate objects over the entire sky (magenta dots). These extremely dusty, brilliant objects are much more rare than the millions of active supermassive black holes also found by WISE (yellow circles). Image released August 29, 2012.
Homing in on 'Hot Dogs'
The panels at right show the "Hot DOG" as seen in the four individual infrared bands obtained by WISE. These images are at wavelengths from 5 to 30 times redder than what our eyes can see, with the shortest wavelengths at top, and longest at bottom.
Dust affects shorter wavelengths more than longer wavelengths. These objects are so dusty that not only their visible light but also their shorter-wavelength infrared light is blocked, as evident by their apparent absence in the top two panels. Less than one in 100,000 WISE sources are similarly prominent only in the two longer-wavelength WISE infrared bands. Image released August 29, 2012.
Analyzing Hot DOG Galaxies
Visible light we see with our eyes has shorter wavelengths than one micron, while the longest wavelengths shown here come from observations with the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The red line shows the brightness profile, or spectral energy distribution, of a proto-typical infrared luminous galaxy.
The small images near the top show more familiar objects at a range of temperatures from 70 Kelvin, or minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit, for liquid nitrogen, to 1,500 Kelvin, or 2,240 degrees Fahrenheit, for lava. The energy from hotter objects peaks at shorter wavelengths.
The extreme WISE objects represented by the purple band are much brighter -- and peak at much shorter, or hotter, wavelengths -- than the typical infrared luminous galaxy, hence their nickname: hot dust-obscured galaxies, or Hot DOGs. Image released August 29, 2012.