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A gathering of glorious galaxies

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is best-known for making an all-sky survey in search of asteroids, brown dwarfs and perhaps even planets on the edge of our solar system and beyond. But WISE's infrared eyes can also see much more distant objects in a new light. During this week's American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston, the WISE team released pictures of nine glorious galaxies, with infrared wavelengths translated into the visible-light spectrum. In these pictures, the oldest stars look blue. Pockets of newly formed stars have yellow or reddish hues. To learn more about the cosmic menagerie and see bigger versions of the pictures, check out today's news release from the WISE astronomers.

Still more about WISE:

You can connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page or following @b0yle on Twitter. Also, give a look to "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.