AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 36. Exploring Dust and the ISM with SIRTF
Topical Session Oral, Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, Highland B/J

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[36.01] What Will We Learn From SIRTF?

M.W. Werner (JPL/Caltech)

What Will We Learn From SIRTF?

SIRTF - the Space Infrared Telescope Facility - is on schedule for launch in December, 2001. SIRTF will complete NASA's family of Great Observatories and serve as a cornerstone for the new Origins initiative. SIRTF will have an 85-cm telescope, cooled to ~5K by a cryogenic system with a predicted lifetime in excess of 5 yrs in SIRTF's novel Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit. SIRTF's three array-based instruments will provide powerful capabilities for imaging/photometry/surveying from 3.5 to 160um and for spectroscopy or spectrophotometry from 5 to 100um. Over 75 of the observing time during the SIRTF mission will be available to the international scientific community through a peer-reviewed proposal process.

This talk will describe SIRTF and then focus on what we will learn from SIRTF, which might include the following topics: First and foremost, of course, we anticipate new insights into a wide range of known astrophysical problems; we can also predict with confidence that major new discoveries will result from SIRTF's great leap in sensitivity and the use of large arrays. In addition we will learn about the actual performance of SIRTF's highly-advanced cryogenic system, and about the operability of an astrophysical observatory in an orbit far from Earth. We will also be exploring - via the SIRTF Legacy Science program - new means of involving the community in the scientific programs of a major space observatory. Finally, we will evaluate the effectiveness of a true contractor/NASA Center/scientific community partnership in the development and operation of a major space program.


Based on work carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://sirtf.caltech.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sirtf@ipac.caltech.edu

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