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back to article Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) has sent back its first test pics in preparation for restarting its mission to map all the nearby asteroids. A patch of sky in the constellation Pisces snapped by NEOWISE The spacecraft has already done the most comprehensive survey to date of space rocks …

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Trollface

Capture and relocate?

What are the other five impossible things NASA are going to do before breakfast?

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Re: Capture and relocate?

Why have they got a table booked at Millyway's?

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Anonymous Coward

Even if

Even if they find something that is on a collision course with us, that has a 99.9% chance of ending life on earth they will never ever tell us.

Just imagine if we knew that in two weeks time the Earth will be destroyed.

It would be one long 14 day crazy, orgy, party, settling of old scores, crime and lawlessness and mayhem.

Then it misses by 3ft......

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Anonymous Coward

Space

It's very dark isn't it.

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Re: Even if

It would be one long 14 day crazy, orgy, party, settling of old scores, crime and lawlessness and mayhem.

I don't understand why this is a bad thing. Well, bad for those who've wronged others in their lives so much that those others would spend the last 2 weeks of their lives hunting them down and murdering them. Honestly though, I have a miserable time trying to feel sympathy for people like that.

I think that most people, facing the end, would choose the "14 day long crazy orgy party"...and I fail to see what's wrong with a 14 day long crazy orgy part under ANY circumstances. In fact, I'd say 99.5% of commenters on here are in desperate need of one. (Or several.)

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Mushroom

Re: Even if

NAAaa! It will be a gamma burster caused by a blue giant that didn't previously exist before a black hole collided with it! This will blow the face of the Earth off into SPACE! Don't you see! HA! :D !

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Re: I don't understand why this is a bad thing

Here's a tip : hardened criminal psychopath escapes prison with nothing to lose and two weeks to kill before everyone dies. What do think his party will be like ?

Do you really think he's going to stop at just going after people who have "wronged" him ?

I understand that a lot of people think that we will not be told. If I were in a position of power, I would most likely take exactly that decision. I also think that we'll find out anyway, because someone who knows will make a mistake and text/tweet/FBpost something that gives away the secret.

Governments are good at keeping secrets. People are terrible at it.

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Re: I don't understand why this is a bad thing

You're right. There is the chance that a hardened sociopath could do a big of damage on a local scale before someone - who also now lives in said lawless society - simply shoots him in the face.

It takes a good while for a society to crumble. I think you'd find that most people, given the news that they had only 14 days left to live would end up simply going through the motions of their regular life. They wouldn't know what to do and they'd be in shock.

I don't believe for a second there are enough crazy nutjobs to turn first world nations into Somalia in 2 weeks, nor do I think fear of the odd whacko going herp-a-derp on a local level is worth withholding the information from the public.

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Re: Even if( they have already done the movie)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1307068/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_9

Seeking a friend for the end of the world

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Re: I don't understand why this is a bad thing

That's the wrong way of looking at it. countries don't collapse because nutjobs are running around. nut jobs run around because countries collapse.

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And the line of red dots are Cylons flying in formation?

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Slx

It's two edges of a Borg cube glinting in the cosmic rays - obviously!

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red dots

Possibly they are hot pixels in the camera. The line shows the relative movement of the camera/satellite between each exposure that was combined to make this image.

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Re: red dots

No, those are incoming Mark VI photon torpedoes. Apparently someone out there doesn't appreciate being spied on.

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Re: red dots

The red dots are the moving objects against the static starfield.

I guess in this image the fast thing is asteroid (872) Holda, the red streaks are earthly satellites. There are similar images from its earlier incarnation on their website.

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I like the article.

But can you please stop using those autoplay/autostart ads? The Cricket one has a button to mute the sound, which doesn't work.

And these autoplay videos are stealing my data allowance...

And those videos do not entice me to buy products anyways.

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jai
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use: http://m.theregister.co.uk/ - no annoying adverts

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Adverts?

Firefox & adblock across all devices, don't see adverts except when using other people's computers or forced to use IE at work, and generally it's a bit off a surprise to see what the internet "really" looks like.

As for autoplay ads or indeed autoplay anything...seriously annoying, and surely stopped being used when web design became a profession?

Apparently Facebook didn't get that memo so am now no longer updating their app just in case.

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Re: Adverts?

"Apparently Facebook didn't get that memo so am now no longer updating their app just in case."

I removed it as it was the largest cpu hog on my phone.

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Big Brother

I agree! But El Reg is not the only one with these ridiculous ads! I FINALLY installed AdBlock + to get rid of them! When are advertisers going to realize they need to keep us from puking to put up with their inane ads? I will set ABP to disable as soon as they realize this! I also want to keep a free internet, but I got my limits! >:(

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Anonymous Coward

A perfect example of how little advertisers care about you. Just so long as they have a channel for their pap.

At least it's way of filtering out people with whom you'd rather not do business on the basis of their ethics, care and consideration.

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Meh

"It has been sleeping for two-and-a-half years and was brought out of hibernation"

Give the cost of the equipment and shipping(!). Why haven't they found anything for it to do for the last 2 and half years?

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Def
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It was brought out of "hibernation". I.e., the CIA doesn't need it anymore.

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RE: It was brought out of "hibernation"

I.e., the CIA NSA doesn't need it anymore.

FTFY!!!

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Running a spacecraft costs quite a lot of money: you need to assemble a team of flight engineers to actually make the thing go, plus a team of scientists to actually do something useful with it, plus equipment for both; and you also have to book and pay for time on the Deep Space Network to actually communicate with the satellite.

The DSN is heavily overbooked and if a satellite has completed its primary mission and therefore, in the eyes of the funders, paid for itself it's not uncommon to hibernate it so as to free up time and resources to manage another satellite.

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I sleep much better now that NEOWISE is on the job keeping us safe.

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An unremarkable photo, and yet...

I look at that shot of stars and little asteroids and such -- mundane, but beautiful, and I think: 'Space, the final frontier.' This stuff is do dam' cool.

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Thumb Up

games...

are there any games out there that use these images? Or is an OpenGL version already being rendered....?

Awesome.

P.

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Paris Hilton

What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

It's not mentioned in the article and Wikipedia doesn't seem to know the answer either, for a change. Nor does it seem to make any sense. What's it, other funding priorities? Asteroid hunters' union calling a strike? Cosmic flux peak?

Paris 'cos, sleepy beauty, no idea, still searching...

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Boffin

Re: What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

Have an upvote, as I was wondering the same thing. (and one for the other commentard posting on similar lines)

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Boffin

Re: What I can't make out - why oh why was it ever put into hibernation?

Quick check on Wikipedia; source link to NEOWISE official homepage followed, hence to this press release giving the reason for the hibernation:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2011-031

To cut a long story short, they couldn't think of anything for NEOWISE to do after its extended primary mission was over, so put it to sleep until they could think of something.

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the real test photo is here

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Alien

Oh-

I can see his sprunger!

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Re: Oh-

you would have 10 seconds left to live

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