Infrared Astronomy  updated March 1, 2016  D. Carrigan carrigan@fnal.

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Infrared Astronomy:

Infrared astronomy is a burgeoning field with implications for many different areas of astronomy. One of the principal uses appears mundane at first, the search for cosmic dust. However it is this dust that gives birth to stars and provides clues about many aspects of the evolution of the Universe. We are each, after all, only cosmic dust cycled through several stars and loaned to our bodies for a mere one hundred millionth of the age of the universe. The Caltech/NASA site and the associated tutorial give some general background information on infrared and infrared astronomy. A good technical summary of dust in the Universe is Astrophysics of Dust, Volume CS-309, Editors: A. Witt, G. Clayton and B. Draine (2004), Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Infrared astronomy is the key to looking for Dyson Spheres. The principal device used for the Dyson Sphere search at Fermilab has been the IRAS infrared satellite that flew in the mid eighties. The web link is listed below. Links to other related infrared facilities are also given.

In December, 2005 a Spitzer Space Telescope team announced the observation of some of the ingredients of life in a cloud around IRS 46. The Dyson Sphere search tools can be used to look for similar nearby objects.

The IRAS infrared satellite Other infrared facilities