To gain deeper insight into the cosmological model we have to access new independent and novel tracers of the early Universe, particle physics and structure formation such as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) spectral distortions. These tiny departures of the average CMB energy spectrum from that of a perfect blackbody provide us with a fundamental probe of the cosmic thermal history.
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The Polarized Radiation Interferometer for Spectral disTortions and INflation Exploration (PRISTINE) is a space mission which has been recently proposed to answer the ESA F-mission call, aimed at addressing two key questions of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015 – 2025 programme:
1) What has powered inflation? and
2) How did the Universe evolve?
MIRI is the mid-infrared instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope and provides imaging, coronagraphy and integral field spectroscopy over the 5-28 micron wavelength range. MIRI is one of four instruments being built for the Webb telescope. It is being developed as a partnership between Europe and the USA - the main partners are ESA, a consortium of nationally funded European institutes, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
Contact at IAS: Alain Abergel
MICMOC est l’acronyme de Matière Interstellaire et Cométaire : Molécules Organiques Compexes et s’intéresse à la formation, l’évolution et la caractérisation de la matière organique extraterrestre, que celle-ci soit interstellaire ou interplanétaire (cométaire pour l’essentiel).
PRONEXT (PROcessus NEbulaires à la surface des grains EXTraterrestres)
The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory (formerly called Far Infrared and Sub-millimetre Telescope or FIRST) has the largest single mirror ever built for a space telescope. At 3.5-metres in diameter the mirror will collect long-wavelength radiation from some of the coldest and most distant objects in the Universe. In addition, Herschel is the only space observatory to cover a spectral range from the far infrared to sub-millimetre.
INGMAR (IrradiatioN de Glaces et Météorites Analysées par Réflectance VIS-IR
Euclid is an ESA mission that will map the geometry of the Dark Universe. The mission will investigate the distance-redshift relationship and the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies and clusters of galaxies out to redshifts ~2, or equivalently to a look-back time of 10 billion years. In this way, Euclid will cover the entire period over which Dark Energy played a significant role in accelerating the expansion of the Universe.
SICAL (Simulateur d'Irradiation de Carbones Amorphes en Laboratoire)
PILOT (Polarized Instrument for Long wavelength Observation of the Tenuous interstellar medium) is a balloon-borne astrophysics experiment (CNES) designed for the measurement of the polarised light emmitted by interstellar dust grains.
Contact at IAS: Jonathan Aumont