Finding, Tracking and Characterizing Asteroids

NEOWISE 2016 Data Release

The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) announce the NEOWISE 2016 Data Release.

The NEOWISE 2016 Data Release includes all data acquired during the second year of the NEOWISE Reactivation mission (Mainzer et al. 2014, ApJ, 792, 30), 13 December 2014 to 13 December 2015. These data are combined with the Year 1 NEOWISE data into a single archive that contains approximately 5.1 million 3.4 and 4.6 micron images and a database of over 38.1 billion source detections extracted from those images.

NEOWISE scanned the entire sky nearly four complete times during the first two years of survey operations, with approximately six months between survey passes. Twelve or more independent 3.4 and 4.6 micron exposures are made on each point of the sky during each survey epoch. Therefore, the NEOWISE archive is a time-domain resource for extracting multiple, independent thermal flux and position measurements of solar system small bodies, as well as background galactic and extragalactic sources.

A quick guide to the NEOWISE data release, data access instructions and supporting documentation is available at Access to the NEOWISE data products is available via the on-line and API services of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive.

NEOWISE utilizes the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft that surveyed the sky in 2010, and was placed into hibernation in February 2011 following the completion of its primary mission. The spacecraft was brought out of hibernation in September 2013, and renamed NEOWISE with a mission to detect and characterize asteroids and comets, and to learn more about the population of near-Earth objects that could pose an impact hazard to the Earth. Survey observations began on December 13, 2013, and the first candidate solar system moving object detection tracklets were reported to the IAU Minor Planet Center two weeks after the survey start. Three deliveries of tracklets have been made each week since that time, yielding over 300,000 confirmed detections of nearly 19,000 different solar system objects to date.

NEOWISE is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. NEOWISE is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.