H2 in the Universe: Contrasting Theory and Observations

D. Rigopoulou, S. Rawlings, D. Obreschkow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Molecular hydrogen, H2, is the most abundant molecule in the Universe, regulating various processes in diverse astrophysical environments. With the advent of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) we have been able to detect extragalactic H2 line emission opening up new avenues of exploring the physics of the interstellar medium (ISM) near and far. We review the role of such H2 emission line detections in our understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for its excitation and the differences among different galaxy types. We discuss possibilities of detecting H2 from distant objects in the Universe thanks to the enhanced sensitivity of the SPICA/SAFARI instrument. Finally, we evaluate the role of H2 in the cosmological context as we contrast theory and observations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA joint European/Japanese Workshop on the SPICA Mission
PublisherEDP Sciences
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-2-7598-0493-1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


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