NASA launched its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope Monday morning aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:09 AM. Launch and shot of the probe-like capsule opened to show WISE below.

The WISE space telescope is capable of surveying the entire sky every six months. The satellite will orbit the Earth over the north and south poles and will detect objects that are difficult to see from the ground, including asteroids, cool stars such as brown dwarfs, and galaxies that shine brightly in infrared light.

Photo Credit: Bill Hartenstein, ULA

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And...we have liftoff!

Photo Credit: NASA TV

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Launch Photo Credit: Mike Levine

Launch Photo Credit: Mike Levine

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Launch Photo Credit: Mike Levine