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AKARI: current status and recent science highlights

The latest news from AKARI project are presented. The initial version of the AKARI All-Sky Survey infrared source catalogue is now ready for scientific analysis. Three science highlights showing new insights to the activities between the old star / supernovae and interstellar media are presented from the second issue of the PASJ AKARI special issue.


The release of the initial version AKARI infrared source catalogue

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The initial version infrared source catalogue based on the AKARI All-Sky Survey is completed. The catalogue contains about three times large number of sources compared to the so far widely used IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) catalogue. The AKARI catalogue is expected to lead the future astronomical researches. (Details)

Highlights I: A Supergiant Making a Splash in a Cosmic River
- AKARI revealed the shock wave at the interface between stellar wind and interstellar matters -

A river of the interstellar medium meanders through deep space. When stars cross these rivers, they make astronomically large splashes. AKARI, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) infrared astronomical satellite with the European Space Agency (ESA) participation, has obtained a high-resolution image of Betelgeuse; a bright red supergiant in the constellation Orion located about 640 light year from the Earth, making such a big splash as the star goes across a cosmic river. (Details)

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Highlights II: The mystery of missing dust
- AKARI search for the cold dust in the globular clusters -

Fig.3

High sensitivity far-infrared observations with AKARI confirm that interstellar space in the globular clusters is void, despite of the expectation that globular clusters contains dusts ejected from old stars within the system. Where are the dusts gone? The results left us a big mystery on the evolution of globular clusters and the interstellar dust. (Details)

Highlights III: Supernova Remnants in the Large Magellanic Cloud unveiled by AKARI
- A new insight to the dust processing in the supernova remnants -

AKARI has revealed unprecedented images of supernova remnants the Large Magellanic Cloud. The data shows presence of a significant amount of new, warm dust component. This implies that the efficiency of supernova remnant shocks in destroying the interstellar grains has been overestimated. (Details)

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