A solar-powered infrared telescope called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was launched by NASA today. The NASA WISE telescope will keep scientists abreast of any possible life-threatening asteroids and comets in the sky.

Set to spend 9 months in orbit, the NASA WISE telescope will cover the entire sky 1.5 times, taking pictures every 11 seconds. While the NASA WISE telescope isn't the first solar-powered infrared spacecraft to enter outer space (NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory are others currently orbiting the heavens), it is the only telescope that will scan the entire sky for threatening asteroids and comets.