The Infrared Astronomical Mission AKARI

Murakami, H.
Baba, H.
Barthel, P.
Clements, D. L.
Cohen, M.
Doi, Y.
Enya, K.
Figueredo, E.
Fujishiro, N.
Fujiwara, H.
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AKARI, the first Japanese satellite dedicated to infrared astronomy, was launched on 2006 February 21, and started observations in May of the same year. AKARI has a 68.5 cm cooled telescope, together with two focal-plane instruments, which survey the sky in six wavelength bands from the mid- to far-infrared. The instruments also have the capability for imaging and spectroscopy in the wavelength range 2 - 180 micron in the pointed observation mode, occasionally inserted into the continuous survey operation. The in-orbit cryogen lifetime is expected to be one and a half years. The All-Sky Survey will cover more than 90 percent of the whole sky with higher spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage than that of the previous IRAS all-sky survey. Point source catalogues of the All-Sky Survey will be released to the astronomical community. The pointed observations will be used for deep surveys of selected sky areas and systematic observations of important astronomical targets. These will become an additional future heritage of this mission.
Comment: 13 pages, 4 figures, and 3 tables. Accepted for publication in the AKARI special issue of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan