Science

Major science questions that require SPICA


Proto-planetary Disk Evolution:

The wavelength range of SPICA provides unique access to a large series of gas cooling lines from disks such as HD, H2, CO and water, to the far-IR water ice features and to a series of key dust features tracing the detailed mineralogy of refractory material. …read more…


Galaxy Evolution:

SPICA is designed to be a powerhouse for understanding galaxy evolution. It is now well established that the bulk of the star formation and supermassive black hole accretion in galaxies took place around 10 billion years ago, at a redshift of z~2. Since most of the energy emitted by stars and black holes at the centres of galaxies is absorbed by dust, understanding the physics of star formation and black hole growth at these epochs requires observations in the far-IR. …read more…


Star Formation:

Understanding of the star-formation process in the ISM is vital to the study of evolution of galaxies. Yet a number of issues remain to be answered, among which the onset trigger is crucial for our understanding of subsequent star-formation processes. Magnetic fields and turbulence have energy densities similar to those of thermal processes and radiation in the ISM (Draine 2010) and they must be important agents in the formation of structure in the ISM (Lesaffre et al. 2013). …read more…