More than a decade ago the IRAS satellite opened the realm of external galaxies for studies in the 10 to 100 μm band and discovered emission from tens of thousands of normal and active galaxies. With the 1995–1998 mission of the Infrared Space Observatory1, the next major steps in extragalactic infrared astronomy became possible: detailed imaging, spectroscopy, and spectrophotometry of many galaxies detected by IRAS, as well as deep surveys in the mid- and far-IR. The spectroscopic data reveal a wealth of detail about the nature of the energy source(s) and about the physical conditions in galaxies. ISO's surveys for the first time explore the infrared emission of distant, high-redshift galaxies. ISO's main theme in extragalactic astronomy is the role of star formation in the activity and evolution of galaxies.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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