Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

AKARI presents detailed all-sky map in infrared light

12.07.2007
One year after the beginning of its scientific operations, the high-capability infrared satellite AKARI continues to produce stunning views of the infrared Universe.

Launched in February 2006, AKARI is making a comprehensive, multi-wavelength study of the sky in infrared light, helping to gain a deeper understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems. The mission is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project with ESA and international participation.

In the course of last year, AKARI performed all-sky observations in six wavelength bands. More than 90 percent of the entire sky has so far been imaged. The mission provides the first census of the infrared sky since the atlas made by its only infrared surveyor predecessor, the Anglo-Dutch-US IRAS satellite more than 20 years ago. AKARI has studied about 3500 selected targets during pointed observations, with improved spatial resolution.

The latest results presented by JAXA today show the infrared sky with unprecedented spatial resolution and wavelength coverage and, in particular, many regions of active star formation.

The first two images presented in this article show the entire sky in infrared light at nine micrometres. The bright stripe extending from left to right is the disc of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Several bright regions corresponding to strong infrared radiation appear along or next to the Galactic Plane. These regions are sites of newly born stars. At the brightest region in the very centre of the image, towards the centre of our Galaxy, old stars crowd together. AKARI observed the infrared radiation emitted from the heated interstellar dust.

The inscriptions indicate constellations and regions of intense star formation. The data used to create this image have a spatial resolution of about nine arcseconds, several times finer than IRAS in 1983. Further detailed analysis of this data will help to learn more about the physical conditions of these star formation regions.

The bright spot on the lower-right of the image, indicated as the ‘Large Magellanic Cloud’ shows another galaxy close to our Milky Way, also undergoing active star formation. Even though not visible at the current resolution of this image, there are many more galaxies in the Universe with intense star formation processes. It is one of AKARI’s prime targets to observe these galaxies and build up a comprehensive picture of the star formation history of the Universe.

AKARI’s Far Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instrument also observed the Milky Way and the Orion region. In this image, two views at visual light (left) and infrared light (right) are juxtaposed, both covering a region of about 30x40 square degrees. AKARI’s view is taken at 140 micrometres. For the first time ever, AKARI provided coverage of the Orion region at infrared wavelengths longer than 100 micrometres at such fine resolution.

The right side of the image covers the constellation Orion while the left side shows the Monoceros. The Galactic Plane is located from the top to bottom in the left side of the image. Cold dust in the Galactic Plane appears as diffuse radiation over the entire image.

The very bright source just below the belt of Orion shows the famous Orion Nebula (M42), where many stars are being born. Another major star-forming region including the Horse Head nebula can be seen on the left side of Orion's belt. In contrast to its appearance as a dark cloud in visible light, it is extremely bright in the infrared. The bright extended emission seen in the middle-left part of the image is the so-called Rosette Nebula, yet another star-forming region. Finally, the big circular structure centred at the head of Orion is clearly visible. Apparently many massive stars were formed at the centre of the circle, causing a corresponding series of supernova explosions that has swept out the dust and gas in the region forming a shell-like structure.

The Orion Nebula is located about 1500 light years away from Earth; the Rosetta nebula 3600 light years.

This false-colour composite was obtained by AKARI’s Far Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instrument at 90 and 140 micrometres. It shows star-forming regions in the constellation Cygnus, one of the brightest regions in the Milky Way. The image covers 7.6 x 10.0 square degrees. This region is in a direction along the so-called ‘Orion arm’, one of the spiral arms of our Galaxy. Many objects at distances of three thousand to ten thousand light years are projected on this small region. The Galactic plane appears from the top-left to bottom-right.

The many bright spots in the image reveal regions where new stars are being born. They heat up the dust and ionize the gas in their vicinity producing strong infrared radiation. There are only a small number of regions in our Galaxy that exhibit so many massive star-forming regions over such a restricted area of the sky.

The large, dark hollows, also clearly visible on the image, developed from clusters of massive, high-temperature stars that have blown away the surrounding gas and dust by their strong radiation.

Alberto Salama | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM4OXGYX3F_index_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions
18.12.2018 | Eindhoven University of Technology

nachricht NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate
18.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>