Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First pictures from the map of the universe mission

23.05.2006


An ambitious mission by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to make a new, high resolution map of the universe has just successfully returned its first pictures, and UK team members are delighted with the success. The AKARI (formerly ASTRO-F) infrared space telescope is making its All-Sky Survey at infrared wavelengths with sharper images and a much higher sensitivity than the first infrared astronomical sky survey satellite launched in 1983. AKARI will leave a tremendous legacy for the future of astronomy. Most of the light ever emitted in the Universe was emitted in the infra-red part of the spectrum, so the range of objects that can be studied by this survey is huge.

Today (May 22nd), at a press conference in Japan, JAXA released spectacular infra-red images of the Nebula IC 4954 that show the birth of stars in their cradle of formation.

“These first images are extremely promising,” said Dr. Stephen Serjeant, Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics at the Open University, said. ”The beautiful filigree structure in the nebula was impossible to see with the previous satellite IRAS. After having worked on this for so many years, it is wonderful to see our labours rewarded so clearly. AKARI can do many things that no other telescope on the Earth or in space can.”



Glenn White, Professor of Astronomy at The Open University and The CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, adds: “The AKARI mission will redefine our view of the Universe at infrared wavelengths, achieving considerably sharper images through its improved higher spatial resolution and sensitivity over the whole sky than previously available. It offers a major new observatory facility to probe the cradles of star formation, that are normally obscured from the view of other telescopes, the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and to observe the embryonic galaxies assembling toward the edge of the observable universe. History tells us that any similar step forward in performance over what has gone before, is likely to reveal unexpected new phenomena or classes of objects that can help to redefine our understanding of the Universe”

Dr Richard Savage, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sussex, said "It’s wonderful to see the first images coming from the AKARI space telescope, after so much hard work by everyone on the project. It’s particularly gratifying to see how well AKARI is functioning; this bodes extremely well for the science we will be able to produce from the mission."

Michael Rowan-Robinson, Head of Astrophysics at Imperial College London, said: "The great power of the AKARI mission is that it is an all-sky survey in the far infrared with improved sensitivity and greatly improved resolution compared to the IRAS mission of the 1980s. It will be a major step forward at these wavelengths."

Dr. Seb Oliver (Reader in Astronomy at the University of Sussex) says "Dr. Richard Savage and I have just returned from Japan where we spent an exhausting time looking at the first data from Akari. We are delighted that everything appears to be performing just as we hoped and look forward to many exciting results to come."

Dr Chris Pearson, European Space Agency support astronomer to the Japanese at JAXA’s Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science (ISAS), said "It is an enormous milestone for all those involved in the AKARI mission to finally see the fruits of their years of hard labour manifested in these breathtaking images of our infrared Universe. The team is now looking forward to producing an atlas of the entire infrared sky in addition to many more such beautiful images"

The Open University, University of Sussex, Imperial College London and SRON/Groningen contribution to AKARI is in critical software involved in translating the data received from the satellite into catalogues of galaxies and stars and images of the sky, using the team’s long experience with previous space telescopes. The team is particularly pleased to be providing the star and galaxy detection software, the final link in the data processing pipe-line."

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pparc.ac.uk
http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/ASTRO-F_prelaunch.asp

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property
26.07.2017 | City College of New York

nachricht Large, distant comets more common than previously thought
26.07.2017 | University of Maryland

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>