ISO Science Legacy

A Compact Review of ISO Major Achievements

  • Catherine Cesarsky
  • Alberto Salama

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. General

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Frank Molster, Ciska Kemper
      Pages 3-28
    3. José Cernicharo, Jacques Crovisier
      Pages 29-69
    4. Emilie Habart, Malcolm Walmsley, Laurent Verstraete, Stephanie Cazaux, Roberto Maiolino, Pierre Cox et al.
      Pages 71-91
  3. Solar System

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-121
    2. Thierry Fouchet, Bruno Bézard, Therese Encrenaz
      Pages 123-139
    3. Thomas G. Müller, Péter Ábrahám, Jacques Crovisier
      Pages 141-155
  4. Stars and Circumstellar Matter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 157-157
    2. Brunella Nisini, Anlaug Amanda Kaas, Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Derek Ward-Thompson
      Pages 159-179
    3. Dario Lorenzetti
      Pages 181-199
    4. Marie Jourdain de Muizon
      Pages 201-214
    5. Joris A. D. L. Blommaert, Jan Cami, Ryszard Szczerba, Michael J. Barlow
      Pages 215-243
  5. Interstellar Medium

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 245-245
    2. Alain Abergel, Laurent Verstraete, Christine Joblin, René Laureijs, Marc-Antoine Miville-Deschênes
      Pages 247-271
    3. Els Peeters, Nieves Leticia Martín-Hernández, Memesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández, Xander Tielens
      Pages 273-292
    4. Emmanuel Dartois
      Pages 293-310
  6. Our Local Universe . . .

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 311-311
    2. Marc Sauvage, Richard J. Tuffs, Cristina C. Popescu
      Pages 313-353
    3. Aprajita Verma, Vassilis Charmandaris, Ulrich Klaas, Dieter Lutz, Martin Haas
      Pages 355-407
  7. . . . And Beyond

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 409-409
    2. Seb Oliver, Francesca Pozzi
      Pages 411-423
    3. Leo Metcalfe, Dario Fadda, Andrea Biviano
      Pages 425-446

About this book


Stars are born and die in clouds of gas and dust, opaque to most types of radiation, but transparent in the infrared. Requiring complex detectors, space missions and cooled telescopes, infrared astronomy is the last branch of this discipline to come of age. After a very successful sky survey performed in the eighties by the IRAS satellite, the Infrared Space Observatory, in the nineties, brought spectacular advances in the understanding of the processes giving rise to powerful infrared emission by a great variety of celestial sources.

Outstanding results have been obtained on the bright comet Hale-Bopp, and in particular of its water spectrum, as well as on the formation, chemistry and dynamics of planetary objects in the solar system. Ideas on the early stages of stellar formation and on the stellar initial mass function have been clarified.

ISO is the first facility in space able to provide a systematic diagnosis of the physical phenomena and the chemistry in the close environment of pre-main sequence stars, in the interstellar medium, and in the final stages of stellar life, using, among other indicators, molecular hydrogen, ubiquitous crystalline silicates, water and ices.

ISO has dramatically increased our ability to investigate the power production, excitation and fuelling mechanism of galaxies of every type, and has discovered a new very cold dust component in galaxies.

ISO has demonstrated that luminous infrared galaxies were brighter and much more numerous in the past, and that they played a dominant role in shaping present day galaxies and in producing the cosmic infrared background.


Galaxy Quasar Star Universe astronomy cluster stellar

Editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Cesarsky
    • 1
  • Alberto Salama
    • 2
  1. 1.European Southern ObservatoryGarching, MunichGermany
  2. 2.European Space AgencyMadridSpain

Bibliographic information