TABLE 4.1 Characteristics of Recommended Large and Moderate Programs

Project

Wavelength Coverage

Increase in Sensitivitya

Typical Spatial Resolution (arcsec)

Typical Spectral Resolution

SIRTF

2.5 to 700 µm

30 to 103

7.5 (λ/30)b

3 to 2000

Infrared-optimized 8-m telescope

1 to 30 µm

3 to 10

0.7 (λ/30)b

3 to 105

MMA

900 to 7000 µm

30

0.07 (λ/1000)b

100 to 106

Southern 8-m telescope

0.3 to 2 µm

1

0.1 at 0.5 µm

3 to 105

Adaptive optics

0.3 to 10 µm

50

0.1c

3 to 104

SOFIA

1 to 1000 µm

10

2.5 (λ/30)b

3 to 106

Optical and infrared interferometers

0.3 to 10 µm

103

2.4 × 10−4λb ,d

3 to 100

AIM

0.1 to 1 µm

< 30 × 10−6

3 to 100

LEST

0.3 to 1 µm

0.1 at 0.5 µm

10 to 105

VLA extension

1 to 100 cm

0.1 at 6 cm

50 to 106

a Relative to other existing or planned facilities of comparable nature.

b Wavelength in microns.

c 2 µm with 8-m telescope.

d 1-km baseline.

stars form out of interstellar gas and how the disks that surround young stars might evolve into planets.

  • Active galaxies and quasars. Are active galaxies powered by black holes? What is the link between infrared-luminous galaxies and quasars? These questions will be explored using ground- and space-based telescopes with high spatial and spectral resolution operating at wavelengths from radio to gamma rays.

  • Large-scale structure of the universe. Observations indicate that clusters of galaxies are strewn in sheets and filaments surrounding large voids and that as much as 90 percent of the mass in the universe may have escaped detection. New ground-based instruments operating at infrared, optical, and radio wavelengths will map the three-dimensional distribution of matter in the universe out to distances of a billion light-years and may reveal the physical processes that create such unexpected patterns.

  • The birth of galaxies. The greatest single burst of star formation in the history of the universe attended the birth of galaxies between 10 billion and 15 billion years ago. New instruments will be used to investigate how galaxies and quasars come into being and how their existence can be reconciled with models of the infant universe. Searches for protogalaxies will require observations with sensitive, large-format arrays of infrared detectors on telescopes in space and on the ground.

Table 4.1 summarizes the performance of the recommended large and



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