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Submitted by Kevin Jardine on 25 May, 2010 - 09:25

Recently I've been comparing Herschel vs. Spitzer infrared images.

There is another infrared observatory in orbit, however: WISE - which is imaging the entire sky. Next year the WISE team will release what is likely to be the first all-sky infrared survey in almost 30 years. (The Japanese AKARI all-sky infrared data was collected a few years ago but sadly has never been fully released.)

There are already several spectacular WISE images available, including an amazing view of the Heart and Soul nebula region in the Perseus arm.

To give you an idea of the huge advance WISE represents over previous surveys, here's a visual spectrum image of the group of three tiny Sharpless nebulae (Sh 2-192, Sh 2-193 and Sh 2-194) visible near the much larger Heart and Soul complex:

and here are the same nebulae in infrared (MSX on the left, WISE on the right).

The WISE image suggests that the three nebulae are really part of the same object.