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A galaxy cluster 7.7 billion light-years away has been discovered using infrared data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The discovery image is shown in the main panel. The inset shows a deeper, or more sensitive, optical and near-infrared composite constructed using data from the WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona and Japan's Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The red galaxies in the inset image are part of the cluster, while the circles highlight the galaxies seen by WISE that were used to detect the cluster.
This galaxy cluster is the first of thousands expected to be discovered with WISE over the entire sky.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages, and operated WISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft was put into hibernation mode after it scanned the entire sky twice, completing its main objectives. Edward Wright is the principal investigator and is at UCLA. The mission was selected competitively under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/wise and http://wise.astro.ucla.edu.