On the morning of February 1st, 2011, NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, took its last snapshot of the sky. This “last light” image is reminiscent of the “first light” image from WISE, taken only 13 months prior. WISE’s final picture shows thousands of stars in a patch of the Milky Way Galaxy, covering an area 3 times the size of the full Moon, in the constellation Perseus. In the upper left corner, a faint wispy cloud can be seen bending around a pulsating variable star called EV Persei.
The WISE Spacecraft transmitter was turned off for the final time at 12:00 noon PST on February 17. WISE Principal Investigator Ned Wright sent the last command. The Spacecraft will remain in hibernation without ground contacts awaiting possible future use.