The Konkoly Infrared Space Astronomy Group

The Konkoly Infrared Space Astronomy Group is a team at Konkoly Observatory (Budapest, Hungary) working on the field of infrared astronomy. We put special emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of observations taken with ISOPHOT, the photometer on-board ESA's Infrared Space Telescope (ISO), and on the preparation of ESA's Herschel mission. Our astrophysical research includes the study of infrared sky background (zodiacal, cirrus, extragalactic), of star formation (T Tau, Herbig Ae/Be, FU Ori stars), and of the Vega-phenomenon.


Built on a decades-long tradition in the optical study of the interstellar medium and star formation, infrared (IRAS) data have been analysed at Konkoly Observatory since 1987. After the launch of ISO, in 1995, Konkoly Observatory staff were involved in the calibration and evaluation of ISOPHOT data. Two members of the present infrared group (P. Ábrahám, Cs. Kiss) have spent several years at the ISOPHOT Data Centre (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg) and gained first hand experience in the ISO mission and the ISOPHOT instrument. Following their return to Hungary in 2001 an ISOPHOT Hungarian Subnode was established as a new project for the Observatory. The ISO work is syncronised with the ISOPHOT Data Centre (MPIA, Heidelberg) and with the ISO Data Centre (ESAC, Madrid). As an extension of the ISO work, the group is involved in the preparation of the Herschel mission since September 2004.


The group's present day activities include working on the final calibration of ISOPHOT and publishing ISOPHOT observations. In the framework of a collaboration with the ISO Data Centre we systematically re-reduce selected ISOPHOT observing modes and feed back the refined data products into the ISO Data Archive as Highly Processed Data Products. Our goal is to contribute to the long term preservation of the ISOPHOT-related expertise. In parallel, we are developing a confusion noise estimator for the Herschel observing modes, and contributing to the pre-flight and in-flight calibration of the PACS instrument. We also aim at creating an environment where data from different space-borne and ground-based infrared instruments can be compared and combined in a careful and accurate way. These infrared data form the basis of our astrophysical studies on sky background, interstellar matter, star formation, and the Vega-phenomenon.


We work on a PC-based computer cluster under linux, with sufficient resources to handle ISOPHOT and Herschel/PACS data. Several versions of the ISOPHOT Interactive Analysis (PIA V9.1, V10.0, V11.0), as well as the Herschel/PACS Interactive Analysis are available. The ERD data of all ISOPHOT observations are on disk which allows efficient mass data processing. We also put on disk important DIRBE products (Weekly maps, zodiacal model, etc.) as the basis of a routine comparison between ISOPHOT and DIRBE.

Support, funding

Different aspects of the work performed in the Konkoly Infrared Space Astronomy Group were/are kindly supported by the ESA PRODEX Programme Buro, the ESA PECS Programme Buro, the Hungarian Space Office, the German-Hungarian and Spanish-Hungarian Bilateral Agreements, and the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA). The Highly Processed Data Products for the ISO Data Archive are produced in the framework of a contract with the ISO Data Centre.


Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - KISAG
Physical address: 1121 Budapest Konkoly-Thege Miklós u. 13-17., Hungary
Mail address: H-1525 Budapest, P.O.Box 67., Hungary
Telephone: (+36-1) 391-9322, (+36-1) 391-9360
Fax: (+36-1) 275-4668