Manual Archives of the Universe: 100 Discoveries That Transformed Our Understanding of the Cosmos

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Click here for images and a more. Further ahead in time ESA is preparing the Herschel mission formerly known as FIRST , a space telescope for far infrared and submillimetre astronomy due to be launched in Close Home. ESA uses cookies to track visits to our website only, no personal information is collected.

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What are ISO's advantages? Why observe in the infrared? Who developed ISO? The instruments and their function. ISO's lifetime. How many observations has ISO been performing per day? How many scientific teams have made observations with ISO? Some questions ISO will help to answer.

Some of ISO's discoveries so far. What is ISO? It operated at wavelengths from 2. Because the atmosphere acts as an 'umbrella' for most infrared wavelengths -preventing them from reaching the ground- a space telescope is needed to detect this kind of radiation invisible to the human eye and to optical telescopes. The overall dimensions of ISO are: Height: 5. In the US-Dutch-British IRAS satellite inaugurated infrared space astronomy by mapping , cosmic infrared sources and large areas of extended emission. But that was only the beginning.

ISO's detectors, with an enhanced sensitivity and resolution by in sensitivity and by in angular resolution at 12 microns , have allowed a much closer look, a much more detailed perception of the 'infrared scenery'. Thus, ISO has provided astronomers with a unique facility to see both familiar objects in an unusual way and objects that are invisible at other wavelengths.

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Infrared radiation is primarily 'heat', or thermal radiation. Even objects that we think of as being very cold, such as an ice cube, emit infrared radiation. The scientific instruments were developed by multinational teams, with leaders in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The instruments and their function: The single 0. The fields of view and the selection of wavelengths are varied, to suit the nature of the object examined. It can be compared to a normal photo camera, taking pictures of the 'infrared face' of astronomical objects at a high resolution so as to distinguish very fine details.

It has provided valuable information about the little known chemistry of the Universe, since many molecules emit copiously in the infrared.

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Moreover, SWS has been able to find out the physical conditions of those chemical constituents, such as temperature or density. It is especially useful studying the physical condition in very cold dust clouds in the space between stars. Initially it was supposed to be operational for 20 months, but thanks to meticulous engineering and some good fortune the satellite's working life was stretched to more than 28 months: ISO unveiled the infrared universe until May This is also where observations were scheduled.

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However, for scientific use ISO needed to be in continuous contact with a ground station. ISO orbit ISO's highly-elliptical orbit had a perigee at around km; an apogee at km; and a period of almost 24 hours. The lowest parts of the orbit lay inside the Earth's van Allen belts of trapped electrons and protons. Inside these regions ISO's detectors were scientifically unusable due to effects caused by radiation impacts.

ISO spent almost 17 hours per day outside the radiation belts and during this time all detectors could be operated. On average, ISO performed 45 observations per revolution a period of almost 24 hours. Througout all of its lifetime -more than revolutions- ISO completed successfully well over Astronomers from all over the world asked for observing time on ISO. Their proposals went through a peer review process during which a time allocation commitee composed of independent outstanding scientists decided on the scientific merit of the proposed programmes and observations.

Only proposals of the highest quality were accepted. Some questions ISO is helping to answer: The birth and death of the stars As if stars wished to keep their privacy during these critical stages of their lives, their births and deaths usually occur within thick and opaque clouds of dust the nebulae. But infrared beams manage to escape these dusty regions, enabling ISO to see them. The origin of planets ISO searched for discs -rings- of matter around stars, which are considered to be the first stage of planet formation -hence they are called 'protoplanetary discs'.

The chemistry of the Universe When scrutinizing selected objects ISO could detect the emission or absorption of infrared rays at particular wavelengths, or "lines" in a spectrum, revealing the presence of identifiable atoms, molecules and solids. Hans C. Introduction to Astronomy and Cosmology. Ian Morison. Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe. Leon M. The Cosmos. Jay M. The Life and Death of Stars.

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Kenneth R. A Textbook of General Astronomy. Charles A. Einstein's Legacy. Julian Schwinger. In Search of the Big Bang. The Physics Book. Clifford A. Gravity's Fatal Attraction. Mitchell Begelman. Reinventing Gravity. John W. Janna Levin. Lawrence M. Wim Vegt. Jim Al-Khalili. Baby Professor. The Universe. Giles Sparrow.

Beyond the Galaxy. Ethan Siegel. The Cosmic Web. Richard Gott. Infinite Galaxies. The Five Ages of the Universe. Fred C. Introduction to Cosmology. Barbara Ryden.

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Brian Cox. The New Quantum Universe. Tony Hey. A New Astronomy Illustrated. David Todd Ph. Revealing the Heart of the Galaxy. Robert H. The Milky Way. William H. Let's Explore the Solar System Planets. Why Does It Happen? Galaxies in the Universe. Linda S. The Expanding Universe. William D. Archives of the Universe is essential reading for professional astronomers, science history buffs, and backyard stargazers alike. Celestial Surveying. Measuring the Earths Circumference. Ptolemys Almagest. Copernicus and the SunCentered Universe.

Tycho Brahe and the Changing Heavens. Galileo Initiates the Telescopic. A Stars Life Cycle. Dark Nebulae and Interstellar Matter. Discovery of Other Galaxies. Expansion of the Universe. Stellar Populations and Resizing the Universe. Mapping the Milky Ways Spiral Arms. Source and Composition of Comets. Newtons Universal Law of Gravity. The Speed of Light. Discovery of Uranus.

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