The principle objective of the SWAS mission is to better understand
the process of star formation through observations of water, molecular
oxygen, isotopic carbon monoxide, and atomic carbon.
- Star Formation and Molecular Cooling
SWAS will observe molecules predicted to
be principal coolants of star forming gas clouds.
- The Chemical Evolution of Molecular Clouds
Chemistry is an important factor in molecular cloud evolution
and star formation. SWAS will observe molecules that are
central to interstellar gas cloud chemistry.
- Primary SWAS Targets
The principal SWAS targets are dense parcels of gas and dust
known as giant and dark cloud cores. Other SWAS targets include
external galaxies, circumstellar envelopes, planetary nebulae, and
solar system objects.