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The Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) is the primary archive for the infrared and submillimeter astronomical projects of NASA, the space agency of the United States. IRSA curates the science products of over 15 missions, including the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), and the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS). It also serves data from infrared and submillimeter European Space Agency missions with NASA participation, including the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), Planck, and the Herschel Space Observatory. As of 2019 [update] , IRSA provides access to more than 1 petabyte of data comprised of roughly 1 trillion astronomical measurements, which span wavelengths from 1 micron to 10 millimeters and include all-sky coverage in 24 bands. Approximately 10% of all refereed astronomical journal articles cite data sets curated by IRSA.
An archive is an accumulation of historical records or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization. Professional archivists and historians generally understand archives to be records that have been naturally and necessarily generated as a product of regular legal, commercial, administrative, or social activities. They have been metaphorically defined as "the secretions of an organism", and are distinguished from documents that have been consciously written or created to communicate a particular message to posterity.
Infrared astronomy is the branch of astronomy and astrophysics that studies astronomical objects visible in infrared (IR) radiation. The wavelength of infrared light ranges from 0.75 to 300 micrometers. Infrared falls in between visible radiation, which ranges from 380 to 750 nanometers, and submillimeter waves.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
IRSA is part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) and is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology. It is one of NASA's Astrophysics Data Centers, along with the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), and others.
The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) provides science operations, data management, data archives and community support for astronomy and planetary science missions. IPAC has a historical emphasis on infrared-submillimeter astronomy and exoplanet science. IPAC has supported NASA, NSF and privately funded projects and missions. It is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private doctorate-granting research university in Pasadena, California. Known for its strength in natural science and engineering, Caltech is often ranked as one of the world's top-ten universities.
The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is an astronomical data archive. The archive brings together data from the visible, ultraviolet, and near-infrared wavelength regimes. The NASA funded project is located at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland and is one of the largest astronomical databases in the world.
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was the first-ever space telescope to perform a survey of the entire night sky at infrared wavelengths.
The Two Micron All-Sky Survey, or 2MASS, was an astronomical survey of the whole sky in the infrared and one of the most ambitious such projects.
The James Webb Space Telescope is a space telescope that is planned to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will provide greatly improved resolution and sensitivity over the Hubble, and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology, including observing some of the most distant events and objects in the universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies. Other goals include understanding the formation of stars and planets, and direct imaging of exoplanets and novas.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) is an orbiting ultraviolet space telescope which was launched on April 28, 2003 and operated until early 2012.
NASA's series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes launched between 1990 and 2003. They were built with different technology to examine specific wavelength/energy regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, visible and ultraviolet light, and infrared light. Three remain operational as of 2019.
The Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) is a digitized version of several photographic astronomical surveys of the night sky, produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute between 1983 and 2006.
Submillimetre astronomy or submillimeter astronomy is the branch of observational astronomy that is conducted at submillimetre wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Astronomers place the submillimetre waveband between the far-infrared and microwave wavebands, typically taken to be between a few hundred micrometres and a millimetre. It is still common in submillimetre astronomy to quote wavelengths in 'microns', the old name for micrometre.
The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) is a Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) satellite experiment to map bright infrared sources in space. MSX offered the first system demonstration of technology in space to identify and track ballistic missiles during their midcourse flight phase.
The US National Virtual Observatory'-NVO- was conceived to allow scientists to access data from multiple astronomical observatories, including ground and space-based facilities, through a single portal. Originally, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the information technology research that created the basic NVO infrastructure through a multi-organization collaborative effort. The NVO was more than a “digital library”; it was a vibrant, growing online research facility akin to a bricks-and-mortar observatory for professional astronomers.
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is a NASA infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope launched in December 2009, and placed in hibernation mode in February 2011. It was re-activated in 2013. WISE discovered thousands of minor planets and numerous star clusters. Its observations also supported the discovery of the first Y Dwarf and Earth trojan asteroid.
The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) is a NASA submillimeter astronomy satellite, and is the third spacecraft in the Small Explorer program. It was launched on December 6, 1998 (UTC), from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Pegasus XL rocket. The telescope was designed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and integrated by Ball Aerospace, while the spacecraft was built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The mission's principal investigator is Gary J. Melnick.
The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST, now evolved and called LUVOIR-B) is an 8–meter UV-optical-NIR space telescope concept proposed by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). If launched, LUVOIR would be a replacement and successor for the HST, with the ability to obtain spectroscopic and imaging observations of astronomical objects in the ultraviolet, optical, and infrared wavelengths, but with substantially better resolution than either HST or the yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Like JWST, ATLAST would be deployed at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point.
The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a NASA infrared space observatory currently under development. WFIRST was recommended in 2010 by United States National Research Council Decadal Survey committee as the top priority for the next decade of astronomy. On February 17, 2016, WFIRST was approved for development and launch.
The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) is part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) and is on the campus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA. NExScI was formerly known as the Michelson Science Center and before that as the Interferometry Science Center. It was renamed NExScI in the Fall of 2008 to reflect NASA's growing interest in the search for planets outside of our solar system, also known as exoplanets. The executive director of NExScI is Charles A. Beichman.
The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online astronomical exoplanet catalog and data service that collects and serves public data that support the search for and characterization of extra-solar planets (exoplanets) and their host stars. It is part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and is on the campus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA. The archive is funded by NASA and was launched in early December 2011 by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute as part of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. In July 2017, the archive's collection of confirmed exoplanets surpassed 3,500.
Origins Space Telescope (OST) is a concept study for the Far-Infrared Surveyor space telescope mission. Still a preliminary concept in formulation, it will be presented to the United States Decadal Survey in 2019 for a possible selection to NASA's Flagship Program. The OST would provide an array of new tools for studying star formation and the energetics and physical state of the interstellar medium within the Milky Way using infrared radiation and new spectroscopic capabilities.
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