Mostly Mute Monday: The Galaxy's Fireworks (Synopsis)

“That, then, is loveliness, we said,
Children in wonder watching the stars,
Is the aim and the end.

Being but men, we walked into the trees.” -Dylan Thomas

Yet when you look at the night sky, it isn't watching the stars that reveals all of the Universe's secrets, nor by looking with what you can see with your eyes. Looking beyond what visible light can teach us often reveals a whole Universe of wonder that we'd never see otherwise.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team.

Looking in infrared light, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveals the intricate structure behind many objects that are entirely invisible to even the world's most powerful visible light telescopes, showcasing the dynamics of the neutral, warm gas that's invisible to optical instruments. WISE surveyed the entire sky, lasting a mere 13 months before running out of coolant, with the information showcased in this colossal mosaic covering less than 3% of what's available.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team.

Go view and learn about the entire thing, in (spectacular) pictures and words, on Mostly Mute Monday!

More like this

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." -Jonathan Swift If you want to look out into the Universe, all you need to do is gather the light it gives off. Unless, of course, there's something in the way. For about 20% of the sky, that's exactly the story for our own Milky Way galaxy…
The Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has been all snapped together and stuff and is ready to be launched into outer space from Vandenberg in November. This will be a major eye in the sky for cosmology, since it will be able to see things that heretofore only space insects could see....…
“People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” -Oscar Wilde…
"We were left with a picture of part of the sky with no stars or galaxies, but it still had this infrared glow with giant blobs that we think could be the glow from the very first stars." -John Mather When you look out at the night sky, you're limited by the light pollution from your surroundings,…