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Session 117 - Infrared Space Observatory.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10

[117.01] Highlights from the ISO Mission

M. Harwit (Washington, DC)

The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) has shown itself to be an enormously versatile and powerful instrument, in high demand not only by European but also by U.S. and Japanese astronomers. It has conducted deep extragalactic infrared surveys, detected dust in the intracluster spaces in Coma, and studied megamaser emission mechanisms in ultraluminous galaxies. ISO spectroscopy has permitted a comprehensive study of water vapor in comets, the atmospheres of the giant planets, semi-regular variables, Herbig-Haro objects, interstellar shocks and many other astrophysical phenomena. Carbon monoxide, dioxide and methane ices have been studied in dense cold clouds. The entire rotational spectrum of molecular hydrogen has become accessible to reveal prevailing temperatures and densities in warm interstellar and photodissociation regions and in extragalactic sources. Information on the initial mass functions of protostellar bodies and dust aggreagates around young stars provide new hints on the formation of stars and planetary systems. This talk will deal with as many of these observations and other, more recent discoveries as time permits. The author's work is supported by NASA grant NAG5-3347. This work is based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member State with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

Program listing for Saturday