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RE: ASTRO-F Satellite
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Akari (Astro-F) is an infrared astronomy satellite developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, in cooperation with institutes of Europe and Korea. It was launched on 21 February 2006 at 21:28 UTC (06:28, 22 February JST) by M-V rocket into Earth sun-synchronous orbit.
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ASTRO F
1 28939U 06005A   11330.94465580 +.00005249 +00000-0 +30833-3 0 07405
2 28939 098.2536 337.9613 0186846 228.3664 130.1434 14.98658239306204

Period:       96.09 minutes
Inclination: 98.25°
Apogee:     701 km
Perigee:     441 km



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AKARI mission completed

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has reported that the operation of the infrared astronomical satellite AKARI (ASTRO-F) is now completed. The onboard transmitters were turned off at 17:23 (JST) on the November 24, 2011.

Source JAXA



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According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency the AKARI (ASTRO-F) Infrared Imaging Satellite went into a low power saving mode at around 5:30 24th May,  (Japan Standard Time).
The onboard computer appears to have reset to its initial start-up mode at 11:20 (JST).
The space Agency is investigating the cause of the anomaly.



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AKARI finishes its cool observations
THE JAXA/ESA infrared astronomical satellite, AKARI, ran out of its on-board supply of cryogen, liquid Helium at 08:33 (UT) on August 26th, 2007, signalling the completion of observations at far-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths, including the All-Sky Survey.

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AKARI
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 Birth, death and rebirth:  AKARI sees life-cycle of Stars in a new light
Scientists using the AKARI infrared satellite, launched in 2006, released their initial results at a conference on March 28th30th. AKARI has shed new light on both the birth and death of stars and galaxies, phenomena that take place in dusty areas of the Universe and can best be studied in the infra-red.
The new results show the intimate connection between star death, which releases material into the interstellar medium (the collection of dust and gas between stars and galaxies), and star birth which gathers up that material.

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IC4954/4955
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IC4954
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Credit JAXA

This image shows star formation revealed by AKARI’s wide-area survey in the reflection nebula IC4954/4955. The nebula is located in the constellation Vulpecula, around 6500 light years from us. The Near- and Mid-infrared Camera (IRC) and the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instruments onboard AKARI carried out observations of this region at seven different infrared wavelengths and revealed a continuing cycle of star formation over three generations, across enormous spatial scales (the actual scale of the picture is approximately 13x20 light years).

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AKARI
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Fantastic new images and clues about stars at different stages of their evolution, and interstellar material hosting black holes, are just a few of the latest results obtained by AKARI, the newest infrared sky-surveyor mission on the scene.
 Since its launch in February 2006 AKARI, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission with ESA participation, has been working flawlessly and has already produced outstanding views of the infrared Universe. New results, to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the National Astronomical Society of Japan, provide unprecedented glimpses of regions of intense star formation, views of stars at the very end of their life, supernova remnants never detected before in the infrared, distant galaxies and active galactic nuclei harbouring black holes surrounded by clouds of molecular gas.
When it concerns studying the formation and evolution of stars, and in more general, the evolution of galaxies in the Universe, infrared satellites like AKARI have a clear advantage. The matter ejected into interstellar space from old stars is warmed up by the stellar radiation from younger stars and by collisions with the material already present in interstellar space, and re-emits this energy at infrared wavelengths.
Since young stars are formed in high-density regions, where the interstellar gas and dust is thickest, the surrounding material veils the light from the star making observations with normal visible light extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. The absorbed light from the central shrouded star is also re-emitted at infrared wavelength. This is also the case for distant galaxies, especially newly born ones, which (like the young stars they contain) are thought to be covered by thick interstellar material. So, infrared observations play a truly crucial role for our understanding of such ‘dusty’ targets, invisible or barely visible when observed at other wavelengths.
 
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AKARI, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) infrared astronomical satellite with ESA participation, is continuing its survey of the sky and its mapping of our cosmos in infrared light. New exciting images recently taken by AKARI depict scenes from the birth and death of stars.


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AKARI’s mid-infrared image of reflection nebula IC 1396



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AKARI’s far-infrared image of red-giant star U Hydrae

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AKARI unveils the birth and death of stars
JAXA reports two new exciting images recently made by AKARI, depicting scenes from the birth and death of stars.

1. Star-birth!
Figure 1 is an image of the reflection nebula IC 1396 in the constellation Cepheus taken by the Infrared Camera (IRC) in its' scanning mode. IC 1396 is a bright star formation region located about 3000 light years from our Solar System in a region where very massive (several tens of solar masses) stars are presently being born. Massive young stars in the central region of the image have swept out the gas and dust to the periphery of the nebula, creating a hollow shell-like structure.
The formation of a new generation of stars is now taking place within the compressed gas in these outer shell structures. AKARI has revealed for the first time, the detailed distribution of this swept out gas and dust over the entire nebula with this high resolution and quality image. Many recently born stars that were previously unknown are expected to be detected in the new image. Detailed analysis of this data will reveal the story of the star formation in this area.


2. A star in its' death throes
Figure 2 is an image of the red giant star U Hydrae taken by the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS) instrument. This star is located at about 500 light years from our Sun. AKARI observations have detected very extended dust clouds surrounding this star.
Stars with masses close to the Sun will expand during the later stages of their lives becoming so called "red-giant" stars. Such stars will often eject gas from their surface into interstellar space during the final phases of their life. Dust is formed in the ejected gas, and this mixture of gas and dust expands out and escapes from the star. AKARI's superior quality and higher resolution image clearly detects a shell like dust cloud surrounding U Hydrae at a distance of about 0.3 light years from the central star. This image implies that a short and violent ejection of mass took place in the star some 10,000 years ago.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 12:37, 2006-08-28

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