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NASA to Unveil New Black Hole Discoveries Today

New WISE Space Telescope to Map Infrared Sky Better Than Ever
An artist’s concept of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft.
(Image: © NASA/JPL)

NASA will reveal new discoveries about black holes and other extreme objects in deep space today (Aug. 29) during a briefing that will be streamed live on the Internet.

The NASA update is set for today  at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) and will discuss the latest science findings from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission. The prolific WISE space telescope mission actually ended in 2011, but astronomers continue to mine the observatory's data for new discoveries. 

The Aug. 29 briefing will be a teleconference for media that the public can listen in online, NASA officials said.

"The discoveries are related to the distant universe, including supermassive black holes and rare galaxies," space agency officials said in an announcement.

Scientists to speak during the briefing will be:

  • Daniel Stern, astronomer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.;
  • Peter Eisenhardt, WISE project scientist, JPL;
  • Jingwen Wu, astronomer, JPL;
  • Rachel Somerville, astrophysics professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

The public can follow the press briefing via the Web by listening here: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

NASA's WISE space telescope was an infrared observatory designed to map the entire sky in unprecedented detail. The space telescope launched in December 2009 and mapped the sky twice before entering a hibernation mode in early 2011. [Amazing WISE Telescope Photos]

The $320 million WISE observatory was designed to seek out objects that were previously hidden from visible-light telescopes. It took 1.8 million infrared images of the sky and revealed more than 33,500 previously unknown asteroids and 19 comets.

The telescope also observed faint galaxies and other strange objects, such as cool failed stars known as brown dwarfs. 

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