SWAS Data Available

By David Leisawitz

Data from the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) are available from the NSSDC. SWAS, a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX) satellite, was launched on December 2, 1998. Its chief science objectives are to determine the composition of interstellar molecular clouds and the means by which such clouds cool as they collapse to form stars and planets. SWAS measures emission in five molecular and atomic spectral lines in the submillimeter band, in some cases mapping the line emission from extended sources.

On schedule, in June 2000, data from the first six months of the mission were transferred via ftp from the SWAS Science Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to the NSSDC, where they are now safely archived. These data were promptly linked to a Web interface developed by the Astrophysics Data Facility in collaboration with the SWAS team. The SWAS Data Archive Web site at http://space.gsfc.nasa.gov/astro/swas provides descriptions of the data products and the data processing pipeline, a bibliography of SWAS team publications, a list of sources observed, and on-line access to the data in FITS and CLASS formats. Quick-look and browsing capabilities will be added in the coming months. Future SWAS data releases will occur at six-month intervals.

Thanks on behalf of the community to Drs. Nils Odegard, Rene Plume, and Thomas Sodroski for their professional support, and to the SSDOO's Space Science Visualization Lab for assistance in developing the Web interface.

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