AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 100 Origins Probes
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[100.07] BLISS and SPICA: Revealing the History of Energy Production in Dusty Galaxies with Far-IR Spectroscopy at the Background Limit

C.M. Bradford, J.J. Bock (JPL), M. Harwit (Cornell), G. Helou (IPAC / Caltech), H. Matsuhara, T. Matsumoto, T. Nakagawa (ISAS / JAXA), E. Young (Arizona), BLISS Collaboration, SPICA Team

Half the energy produced since the Big Bang emerges in the far-infrared, the result of dust in luminous galaxies around the historical peak in energy production, redshifts of 1-5. Measuring the redshifts, masses, and conditions in these dusty galaxies is critical for a complete history of star formation, metal and dust production, and galaxy evolution. While tens of thousands of these galaxies are being and will be discovered in the continuum, far-IR spectroscopic follow-up will be difficult for galaxies beyond z~1 with existing platforms. The combination of a large cold telescope such as SPICA (3.5 m, 4.5 K) and a sensitive direct-detection spectrometer offers factors of 100-10,000 sensitivity gain for moderate resolution spectroscopy, allowing line diagnostics of dusty galaxies throughout the era of galaxy evolution. We are studying the prospects for a zodi-background-limited far-IR spectrometer (BLISS) built by NASA for the Japanese SPICA mission. We outline the astrophysical experiments enabled by SPICA in the far-IR, and present the instrument concepts and key technologies for BLISS.

Our work is supported as part of NASA's Origins Probe concept studies program.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: matt.bradford@jpl.nasa.gov

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.