Volume 526, February 2011
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||14 January 2011|
Koninklijke Sterrenwacht van België, Ringlaan 3, 1180
2 Institute of Astronomy, University of Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4 University of Vienna, Department of Astronomy, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
5 Herschel Science Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre, Villafranca del Castillo, Apartado de Correos 78, 28080 Madrid, Spain
6 Astrophysics Dept, CAB (INTA-CSIC), Crta Ajalvir km4, 28805 Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
7 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
8 Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
9 Sterrenkundig Instituut Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10 School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff, Wales CF24 3YB, UK
11 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
12 Space Science and Technology Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, UK
13 Dept of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
14 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Denver, Mail Stop 6900, Denver, CO 80208, USA
15 Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Allée du 6 août, 17, Bât. B5c, 4000 Liège 1, Belgium
16 Institut d’Astronomie et d’Astrophysique, Université libre de Bruxelles, CP 226, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
17 Institute for Space Imaging Science, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 1B1, Canada
18 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
19 TU Graz, Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision, Inffeldgasse 16/II, 8010 Graz, Austria
Received: 28 September 2010
Accepted: 6 December 2010
MESS (Mass-loss of Evolved StarS) is a guaranteed time key program that uses the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel space observatory to observe a representative sample of evolved stars, that include asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae and red supergiants, as well as luminous blue variables, Wolf-Rayet stars and supernova remnants. In total, of order 150 objects are observed in imaging and about 50 objects inspectroscopy.
This paper describes the target selection and target list, and the observing strategy. Key science projects are described, and illustrated using results obtained during Herschel’s science demonstration phase. Aperture photometry is given for the 70 AGB and post-AGB stars observed up to October 17, 2010, which constitutes the largest single uniform database of far-IR and sub-mm fluxes for late-type stars.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: mass loss / supernovae: general / circumstellar matter / infrared: stars
Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
Appendices and Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2011
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