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AKARI finishes its cool observations

The infrared astronomical satellite AKARI ran out of its on-board supply of cryogen, liquid Helium at 08:33 (UT) on August 26th, 2007, after successful operation and observations that began on May 8th, 2006. The boil off of the liquid Helium signals the completion of observations at far-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths with AKARI, including the All-Sky Survey.

AKARI did in fact achieve the pre-launch expected lifetime of 550 days. During this period, AKARI completed the far-infrared All-Sky Survey covering about 94 per cent of the entire sky, and also carried out mid-infrared survey as well as more than five thousand individual pointed observations. The data obtained is now being intensively analysed by the project scientists and astronomers.

AKARI plans to continue warm phase observations using the surviving instruments that can still operate under the conditions provided by the additional on-board mechanical coolers. The preparation and performance evaluation of the next phase of the mission will be carried out over the next few months.

We warmly acknowledge all the people who support the AKARI mission.

AKARI Project Manager Professor Hiroshi Murakami

August 28, 2007