AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 82. Beyond SIRTF/SOFIA/Hershel: New Generation FIT Telescopes
Special Session Oral, Thursday, June 7, 2001, 10:00-11:30am, 2:00-3:30pm, C211

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[82.06] Far-Infrared Extragalactic Surveys: Past, Present, and Future

S. H. Moseley (NASA/GSFC)

As much as one third of the luminosity of the local universe is emitted in the far infrared. In order to understand the history of energy release in the universe, it is crucial to characterize this rest-frame far-infrared contribution from the present back to the era of inital galaxy formation. Over the redshift range from 0 to 10, this energy is received in the 80 \mum to 1~mm spectral region.

In the 1980's the IRAS all-sky survey provided the first comprehensive view of the far infrared emission from the local universe. The diffuse background measurements by COBE have provided constraints on the integral contributions from the high redshift universe. In the past five years, submillimeter measurements made using the SCUBA instrument have revealed powerful high redshift sources. To develop a clear history of energy release in the universe, we need numbers and redshifts of representative populations of energetically important objects.

The near future will bring the SIRTF MIPS survey, which will cover about 100 square degrees at wavelengths out to 160 \mum, providing a large sample of energetically important galaxies out to z of ~3. In 2005, the Japanese IRIS survey will provide a 160 \mum full sky survey, which will provide larger samples of the high z galaxy populations and will find intrinsically rare high luminosity objects. The SPIRE instrument on the FIRST facility will extend these surveys to longer wavelengths, providing a view of the universe at higher redshifts in three spectral bands.

A concept for an all-sky submillimeter survey is under development, called the Survey of Infrared Cosmic Evolution (SIRCE). With a 2 m cryogenic telescope, it can map the entire sky to the confusion limit in the 100 to 500 \mum range in six months. This survey will provide photometric redshifts, number counts, and will find the most luminous objects in the universe. In the next decade, the opening of the submillimeter, combined with the near infrared capability of NGST will provide us with a clear picture of energy release in the early universe.

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