Artist's conception of Akari
|Organization||Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)|
|Launch date||2006-02-21 21:28 UTC|
|Launch site||Uchinoura Space Center
Uchinoura, Kagoshima, Japan
|Mission length||5 years, 9 months|
|Mass||955 kg (2,105 lb)|
|Orbit height||694.5 km (431.5 mi)|
|Orbit period||96.6 minutes|
|Location||Low Earth orbit|
|Telescope style||Richey-Chrétien reflector|
|Diameter||0.67 m (2 ft 2 in)|
|Focal length||4.2 m (170 in)|
|Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS)||far-infrared camera/spectrometer|
|Infra-Red Camera (IRC)||near-infrared camera/spectrometer|
Akari (Astro-F) is an infrared astronomy satellite developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, in cooperation with institutes of Europe and Korea. It was launched on 21 February 2006 at 21:28 UTC (06:28, 22 February JST) by M-V rocket into Earth sun-synchronous orbit. After its launch it was named Akari (明かり), which means light in Japanese.
By mid-August 2006, Akari finished around 50 percent of the all sky survey.
By early November 2006, first (phase-1) all-sky survey finished. Second (phase-2) all-sky survey started on 10 November 2006.
Due to the malfunction of sun-sensor after the launch, ejection of telescope aperture lid was delayed, resulting the coolant lifespan estimate to be shortened to about 500 days from launch. However after JAXA estimated the remaining helium during early March 2007 observation time will be extended at least until 9 September.
On 11 July 2007, JAXA informed that 90 percent of the sky was scanned twice. Also around 3,500 selected targets have been observed so far.
On 26 August 2007, liquid-Helium coolant depleted, which means the completion of far- and mid-infrared observation. 94 percent of the sky was scanned and more than 5,000 pointed observations were done.
During December 2007, JAXA performed orbit correction manoeuvres to bring Akari back into its ideal orbit. This was necessary because the boiled off helium led to an increase in altitude. If this would have continued energy supply would have been cut off.
In May 2011, Akari suffered a major electrical failure that rendered its science instruments inoperable when the satellite is in the Earth's shadow. The operation of satellite was terminated officially on 24 November 2011.
- Star formation over three generations in the nebula IC4954/4955 in the constellation Vulpecula.
- The first infrared detection of a supernova remnant in the Small Magellanic Cloud
- Detection of mass-loss from relatively young red-giant stars in the globular cluster NGC 104
- Detection of the molecular gas surrounding the active galactic nucleus in the ultra luminous infrared galaxy
- The constellation Orion and the winter Milky Way at 140 micrometre
- Star forming region in the constellation Cygnus
- Active star formation viewed from the outside: The peculiar spiral galaxy M101
- Dust processing in the supernova remnants in the Large Magellanic Cloud
- Stephen Clark (21 February 2006). "Japanese infrared space observatory goes into orbit". Spaceflightnow. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- "JAXA Hopes To Keep Akari Going Despite Power Failure". Space News International. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "The Infrared Astronomical Satellite AKARI and Nikon". Nikon. September 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Editor (28 February 2006). "Fueling trust in rocket science". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- Issei Yamamura (August 2006). "AKARI Mission Lifetime". AKARI Newsletter. vol. 16. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "The Infrared Astronomical Satellite AKARI and Nikon". Nikon. September 2007. Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- Issei Yamamura (9 March 2007). "AKARI Cryogenic Lifetime". AKARI Newsletter. vol. 18. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- Issei Yamamura (26 February 2008). "Happy Birthday, AKARI!". AKARI Newsletter. vol. 21. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "赤外線天文衛星「あかり」（ASTRO-F）の運用終了について" (in Japanese). JAXA. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "AKARI (ASTRO-F) Results". JAXA/ISAS/LIRA. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "新世代の赤外線天体カタログ、日本から世界に公開へ" (Press release) (in Japanese). 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- Astronomy and Astrophysics 514. May 2010.