From IRAS to Spitzer and Beyond: 30 years of Space-Based Infrared Astronomy
This talk on "From IRAS to Spitzer and Beyond: 30 Years of Space-Based Infrared Astronomy" was given as part of the public Von Karman Lecture Series, and was webcast/recorded at JPL on November 7, 2013.
The infrared lies beyond the red end of the visible spectrum of light. Cool and dusty things throughout the Universe appear bright in infrared. 2013 is a significant year in infrared astronomy -- it marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of IRAS, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, which revolutionized our view of the infrared cosmos, increasing the number of known infrared sources by about 70%. It's also the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope, at the time the most sensitive infrared telescope ever built, which has helped revolutionize our understanding of galaxy evolution, exoplanets, and star formation. 2013 is also the 4th anniversary of the launch of the infrared missions Herschel and WISE, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer. This talk will review some of the major discoveries from each of these important infrared astronomy missions.