Near-infrared and Mid-infrared Spectroscopy with the Infrared Camera (IRC) for AKARI

Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan (Impact Factor: 2.44). 10/2007;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The Infrared Camera (IRC) is one of the two instruments on board the AKARI satellite. In addition to deep imaging from 1.8-26.5um for the pointed observation mode of the AKARI, it has a spectroscopic capability in its spectral range. By replacing the imaging filters by transmission-type dispersers on the filter wheels, it provides low-resolution (lambda/d_lambda ~ 20-120) spectroscopy with slits or in a wide imaging field-of-view (approximately 10'X10'). The IRC spectroscopic mode is unique in space infrared missions in that it has the capability to perform sensitive wide-field spectroscopic surveys in the near- and mid-infrared wavelength ranges. This paper describes specifications of the IRC spectrograph and its in-orbit performance.

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    ABSTRACT: AKARI, formerly known as ASTRO-F, is the second Japanese space mission to perform infrared astronomical observations. AKARI was launched on 21 February 2006 (UT) and brought into a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 700 km by a JAXA M-V rocket. AKARI has a telescope with a primary-mirror aperture size of 685 mm together with two focal-plane instruments on board: the Infrared Camera (IRC), which covers the spectral range 2–26 μm and the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS), which operates in the range 50–180 μm. The telescope mirrors are made of sandwich-type silicon carbide, specially developed for AKARI. The focal-plane instruments and the telescope are cooled by a unique cryogenic system that kept the telescope at 6K for 550days with 180l super-fluid liquid Helium (LHe) with the help of mechanical coolers on board. Despite the small telescope size, the cold environment and the state-of-the-art detectors enable very sensitive observations at infrared wavelengths. To take advantage of the characteristics of the sun-synchronous polar orbit, AKARI performed an all-sky survey during the LHe holding period in four far-infrared bands with FIS and two mid-infrared bands with IRC, which surpasses the IRAS survey made in 1983 in sensitivity, spatial resolution, and spectral coverage. AKARI also made over 5,000 pointing observations at given targets in the sky for approximately 10min each, for deep imaging and spectroscopy from 2 to 180 μm during the LHe holding period. The LHe ran out on 26 August 2007, since which date the telescope and instrument are still kept around 40K by the mechanical cooler on board, and near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations with IRC are now being continued in pointing mode.
    Experimental Astronomy 12/2009; 27(1):9-17. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the Infrared Camera on board AKARI, we carried out near-infrared (2.5-5.0 micron) spectroscopy of the central kiloparsec region of the barred spiral galaxy, NGC1097, categorized as Seyfert 1 with a circumnuclear starburst ring. Our observations mapped the area of ~50"*10" with the resolution of ~5", covering about a half of the ring and the galactic center. As a result, we spatially resolve the starburst ring in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon 3.3 micron, the aliphatic hydrocarbon 3.4-3.6 micron features, and the hydrogen Br alpha 4.05 micron emission. They exhibit spatial distributions significantly different from each other, indicating that the environments vary considerably around the ring. In particular, the aliphatic features are enhanced near the bar connecting the ring with the nucleus, where the structure of hydrocarbon grains seems to be relatively disordered. Near the center, the continuum emission and the CO/SiO absorption features are strong, which indicates that the environments inside the ring are dominated by old stellar populations. The near-infrared spectra do not show any evidence for the presence of nuclear activity.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2012; 751(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a near- to mid-infrared point source catalog of 5 photometric bands at 3.2, 7, 11, 15 and 24 um for a 10 deg2 area of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) obtained with the Infrared Camera (IRC) onboard the AKARI satellite. To cover the survey area the observations were carried out at 3 separate seasons from 2006 May to June, 2006 October to December, and 2007 March to July. The 10-sigma limiting magnitudes of the present survey are 17.9, 13.8, 12.4, 9.9, and 8.6 mag at 3.2, 7, 11, 15 and 24 um, respectively. The photometric accuracy is estimated to be about 0.1 mag at 3.2 um and 0.06--0.07 mag in the other bands. The position accuracy is 0.3" at 3.2, 7 and 11um and 1.0" at 15 and 24 um. The sensitivities at 3.2, 7, and 24 um are roughly comparable to those of the Spitzer SAGE LMC point source catalog, while the AKARI catalog provides the data at 11 and 15 um, covering the mid-infrared spectral range contiguously. Two types of catalog are provided: a Catalog and an Archive. The Archive contains all the detected sources, while the Catalog only includes the sources that have a counterpart in the Spitzer SAGE point source catalog. The Archive contains about 650,000, 140,000, 97,000, 43,000, and 52,000 sources at 3.2, 7, 11, 15, and 24 um, respectively. Based on the catalog, we discuss the luminosity functions at each band, the color-color diagram, and the color-magnitude diagram using the 3.2, 7, and 11 um band data. Stars without circumstellar envelopes, dusty C-rich and O-rich stars, young stellar objects, and background galaxies are located at distinct regions in the diagrams, suggesting that the present catalog is useful for the classification of objects towards the LMC.
    The Astronomical Journal 10/2012; 144(6). · 4.97 Impact Factor

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