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Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
The interaction between stellar winds and the interstellar medium (ISM) can create complex bow shocks. We have studied the bow shock region around Betelgeuse using Herschel PACS images at 70, 100, and 160 μm and SPIRE images at 250, 350, and 500 μm. These data were complemented with ultraviolet GALEX data, near-infrared WISE data, and radio 21 cm GALFA-HI data.
The infrared Herschel images of the environment around Betelgeuse are spectacular, showing the occurrence of multiple arcs at ~6–7′ from the central target and the presence of a linear bar at ~9′. Remarkably, no large-scale instabilities are seen in the outer arcs and linear bar. The dust temperature in the outer arcs varies between 40 and 140 K, with the linear bar having the same colour temperature as the arcs. The inner envelope shows clear evidence of a non-homogeneous clumpy structure (beyond 15′′). The non-homogeneous distribution of the material even persists until the collision with the ISM. A strong variation in brightness of the inner clumps at a radius of ~2′ suggests a drastic change in mean gas and dust density ~32 000 yr ago. Using hydrodynamical simulations (see van Marle & Decin, these proceedings), we try to explain the observed morphology of the bow shock around Betelgeuse.
Different hypotheses, based on observational and theoretical constraints, are formulated to explain the origin of the multiple arcs and the linear bar and the fact that no large-scale instabilities are visible in the bow shock region. We infer that the two main ingredients for explaining these phenomena are a non-homogeneous mass-loss process and the influence of the Galactic magnetic field. The linear bar is probably an interstellar structure illuminated by Betelgeuse itself.
We report on the first results from observations of 28 variable B stars obtained with the new Mercator telescope (La Palma). Besides confirming the pulsational nature of known and candidate β Cephei and slowly pulsating B stars, we also present new candidate ellipsoidal variables and spotted stars.
We report on the first results from observations of 31 variable A and F stars, obtained with the new Mercator telescope (La Palma). Besides confirming the γ Dor nature of known bonafide and candidate γ Dor stars, we also present new candidate γ Dor stars. In addition, we found a new short-period variable star.
Visual–perceptual abilities were assessed in 5-year-old children with the following neonatal neurological conditions: born preterm with normal ultrasound scan (NL, n=17); born preterm with ultrasound diagnosis of intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH, n=17); born preterm with ultrasound diagnosis of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL, n=12); born term with hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE, n=11). Visual–perceptual ability was evaluated with the L94: eight visual–perceptual tasks designed to evaluate different aspects of visual perception at the preschool level in children with multiple disabilities. Impairment was established in comparison to the performance age obtained on non-verbal intelligence subtests, instead of chronological age. Frequency of L94 impairment was highest in children with PVL, while children with IVH did not differ from the NL control group. Impairment rates were increased also in children with transient periventricular echodensities, and in children with HIE. Impairments were only moderately related to the delay of visual acuity maturation in infancy.
We discuss the infrared spectral energy distribution of Be stars, focusing on new results obtained with the Infrared Space Observatory. The 60-160 μm flux of some Be stars is higher than expected, which may be due to cold dust or an outer disk component with enhanced densities. The infrared spectrum of Be stars is dominated by numerous HI recombination lines, whose line strengths show a complex behaviour. The electron temperature in the disk of ϒ Cas was found to be about 9500 K, and evidence for an elevated temperature near the upper part of the disk is presented. Be stars may be recognized from their infrared spectrum on the basis of HI line flux ratios.
We present flux-calibrated, synthetic spectra for the calibration stars of the Short Wavelength Spectrometer of the Infrared Space Observatory ISO-SWS (cf. Kessler et al. 1996). ISO-SWS covers a wavelength range of 2.4 to 45 μm (cf. de Graauw et al. 1996), and although in the NIR the flux calibration of Vega can be used, at longer wavelengths the flux calibration has to be extrapolated by other means, because (i) Vega has at λ ≥ 25 μm an IR excess due to circumstellar dust and (ii) there is an, as yet, unresolved controversy about Vega's flux at 10 μm (cf. Rieke et al. 1985). The majority of the standard stars of SWS are of MK class G and K III, as cool giants are amongst the brightest objects in the IR, and model atmospheres for cool giants are available and well-studied (cf. Jørgensen and Gustafsson 1994).
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