AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 82. Planning for Future Missions: Radio to X-Ray
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[82.04] On the Prospects of Measuring the Cosmic History of Element Synthesis with Future Far-IR/Submillimeter Observatories

D. Leisawitz, D.J. Benford (NASA GSFC), A. Kashlinsky (SSAI and NASA GSFC), C.R. Lawrence (Caltech JPL), J.C. Mather, S.H. Moseley (NASA GSFC), S.A. Rinehart (NRC RRA, NASA GSFC), R.F. Silverberg (NASA GSFC), H.W. Yorke (Caltech JPL)

To understand the cosmic history of element synthesis it will be important to obtain extinction-free measures of the heavy element contents of high-redshift objects and to chart two monumental events: the collapse of the first metal-free clouds to form stars, and the initial seeding of the universe with dust. The information needed to achieve these objectives is uniquely available in the far-infrared/submillimeter (FIR/SMM) spectral region. Following the Decadal Report and anticipating the development of the Single Aperture Far-IR (SAFIR) telescope and FIR/SMM interferometry, we estimate the measurement capabilities of a large-aperture, background-limited FIR/SMM observatory and an interferometer on a boom, and discuss how such instruments could be used to measure the element synthesis history of the universe.

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