The Infrared Astronomical Mission AKARI

Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan (Impact Factor: 2.01). 08/2007; DOI: 10.1093/pasj/59.sp2.S369
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT AKARI, the first Japanese satellite dedicated to infrared astronomy, was launched on 2006 February 21, and started observations in May of the same year. AKARI has a 68.5 cm cooled telescope, together with two focal-plane instruments, which survey the sky in six wavelength bands from the mid- to far-infrared. The instruments also have the capability for imaging and spectroscopy in the wavelength range 2 - 180 micron in the pointed observation mode, occasionally inserted into the continuous survey operation. The in-orbit cryogen lifetime is expected to be one and a half years. The All-Sky Survey will cover more than 90 percent of the whole sky with higher spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage than that of the previous IRAS all-sky survey. Point source catalogues of the All-Sky Survey will be released to the astronomical community. The pointed observations will be used for deep surveys of selected sky areas and systematic observations of important astronomical targets. These will become an additional future heritage of this mission. Comment: 13 pages, 4 figures, and 3 tables. Accepted for publication in the AKARI special issue of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan

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    ABSTRACT: AKARI, currently in space, carries onboard a cryogenically cooled light-weight telescope with silicon carbide mirrors. The wavefront error of the AKARI telescope, obtained in laboratory measurements at 9 K, showed that the expected in-orbit imaging performance was diffraction-limited at a wavelength of 6.2 mum, slightly degraded from that expected from laboratory measurements.
    Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan 10/2007; 59. DOI:10.1093/pasj/59.sp2.S423 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celestial standards play a major role in observational astrophysics. They are needed to characterise the performance of instruments and are paramount for photometric calibration. During the Herschel Calibration Asteroid Preparatory Programme approximately 50 asteroids have been established as far-IR/sub-mm/mm calibrators for Herschel. The selected asteroids fill the flux gap between the sub-mm/mm calibrators Mars, Uranus and Neptune, and the mid-IR bright calibration stars. All three Herschel instruments observed asteroids for various calibration purposes, including pointing tests, absolute flux calibration, relative spectral response function, observing mode validation, and cross-calibration aspects. Here we present newly established models for the four large and well characterized main-belt asteroids (1) Ceres, (2) Pallas, (4) Vesta, and (21) Lutetia which can be considered as new prime flux calibrators. The relevant object-specific properties (size, shape, spin-properties, albedo, thermal properties) are well established. The seasonal (distance to Sun, distance to observer, phase angle, aspect angle) and daily variations (rotation) are included in a new thermophysical model setup for these targets. The thermophysical model predictions agree within 5 % with the available (and independently calibrated) Herschel measurements. The four objects cover the flux regime from just below 1,000 Jy (Ceres at mid-IR N-/Q-band) down to fluxes below 0.1 Jy (Lutetia at the longest wavelengths). Based on the comparison with PACS, SPIRE and HIFI measurements and pre-Herschel experience, the validity of these new prime calibrators ranges from mid-infrared to about 700 μm, connecting nicely the absolute stellar reference system in the mid-IR with the planet-based calibration at sub-mm/mm wavelengths.
    Experimental Astronomy 10/2013; DOI:10.1007/s10686-013-9357-y · 2.66 Impact Factor

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