An Overview of the Infrared Satellite AKARI and its Recent Results

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 9 a.m. — 10 a.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
TAKASHI ONAKA (University of Tokyo, Japan & Gemini South Visiting Astronomer)

AKARI is the first Japanese satellite devoted to infrared astronomy.  It was launched in 2006 February and its cryogen ran out in 2007 August.  During its cold mission, AKARI made an all-sky survey at 9, 18, 65, 90, 140, and 160um with the sensitivity and spatial resolution better than the IRAS survey.  The point source catalog based on the all-sky survey observations are now available to the public.  AKARI also made pointing observations to carry out deep imaging and spectroscopic observations from near- to far-infrared.  Even after the exhaustion of the cryogen, the telescope and the on-board instruments were kept below ~60K and near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations were continued  until 2012 May, when we were forced to terminate the observations due to the failure of the power supply system.  In this talk, an overview of the AKARI mission as well as some recent results of the near- to mid-infrared observations with AKARI, including a search for warm debris disks and a study of PAH emission in the Galaxy and galaxies are presented.