Recent results from the infrared satellite AKARI

Takashi Onaka1*,Itsuki Sakon1,Hideaki Fujiwara1, Takashi Shimonishi1, Ho-Gyu Lee 1, Daisuke Ishihara2, Hidehiro Kaneda2and Yoko Okada3
1Department of Astronomy, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
2Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602,Japan
3I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln,Germany

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AKARI is the second Japanese infrared satellite mission, which performed astronomical observations within the near- to far-infrared spectral range. It was launched on 2006 February 21 (UT) by the JAXA M-V rocket and brought into a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 700 km. AKARI carried a 68.5 cm aper ture telescope together with two focal-plane instruments that were cooled by 180 litres of super-fluid liquid Helium (LHe) and mechanical coolers. The focal-plane instruments consist of the Infrared Camera (IRC) and the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS). Thanks to the on-board cryocoolers the LHe lasted for 18 months and ran out on 2007 August 26. Until then AKARI carried out an all-sky survey at 9, 18, 65, 90, 140, and 160 μm together with more than 5000 pointing observations in the 2-180 μm band. After the LHe was exhausted, AKARI telescope was kept below 50K by the on-board cryocooler and near- infrared observations continued. This paper gives an overview of the AKARI mission together with some recent results.

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Keywords : space vehicles - AKARI satellite - all-sky survey - infrared observations