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Published January 9, 1984 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Preliminary Scientific Results From The First Six Months Of The Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS)


The Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) was successfully launched on 25 January 1983. The goals of this joint US, Dutch, and British project were twofold. The first, and most important, goal was to perform an unbiased all-sky survey at wavelengths of 12, 25, 60, and 100 ,μm to establish the importance of infrared emission in the energy balance of the universe, to map the diffuse emission from the Galaxy and the material in the solar system, and to obtain low resolution spectra of the brightest sources identified at 12 and 25 4m. A second mission objective was to study specific known astronomical objects in more detail to gain higher sensitivity or higher spatial resolution than that achievable by normal survey observations. The satellite is now seven months into its one year mission life, and survey operations are exceeding prelaunch expectations. The initial all-sky survey was completed on 26 August 1983. In the last four months of the mission a second all-sky survey will be conducted to enhance the survey completeness. A previous paper in the proceedings of this conference (Low et al, 1983) has described the design and performance of the satellite. In this paper we will describe some of the early scientific results from the IRAS mission.

Additional Information

© 1984 SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. It is truly a pleasure to thank our many colleagues in the IRAS project who have worked so diligently to make this mission the successful project that it is. We are grateful to our colleagues on the IRAS science team for allowing us to share the results of their labors. The Infrared Astronomical Satellite was developed and is operated by the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs (NIVR), the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U. K. Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC).

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