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 Supercomputers without waste heat
07.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht DF-PGT, now possible through massive sequencing techniques
06.12.2018 | Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

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: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>