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This movie shows the progression of NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) investigation for the mission's first two years following its restart in December 2013. Green circles represent near-Earth objects (asteroids and comets that come within 1.3 astronomical units of the sun; one astronomical unit is Earth's distance from the sun). Yellow squares represent comets. Gray dots represent all other asteroids, which are mostly in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are shown.
Since the mission was restarted in December 2013, NEOWISE has discovered 72 near-Earth objects and characterized 439 others.
JPL manages NEOWISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. The Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, built the science instrument. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, built the spacecraft. 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.
For more information about NEOWISE, visit http://www.nasa.gov/neowise
More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch.