ISO Status Report - April 2005
ISO continues to have a significant presence in the refereed literature, with 1235 papers published to date (123 in 2004) embracing all areas of astronomy. Recent highlights include the direct evidence that shock waves generated by galaxy collisions excite the gas from which new stars will form. This is revealed in the Antennae galaxies pair by exceptional H2 rotational line emission at a wavelength of 9.66µm, detected with ISOCAM Circular Variable Filter observations. The H2 line luminosity, normalized by the far-infrared luminosity, exceeds that of all other known galaxies and the strongest H2 emission is spatially displaced from the known starbursts regions. The result also provides important clues on how the birth of the first stars was triggered and speeded-up in the early Universe. The result, published in the April A&A issue by Haas et al., is also reported on the ESA News portal.