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6. Ultraviolet

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Copernicus Orbiting Astronomical Observatory-3 Last Updated on 2008-04-29 00:00:00 The Copernicus satellite, otherwise known as the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3 (OAO-3), obtained a series of high resolution far- (900-1560 Å) and near- (1650-3150 Å) ultraviolet spectral scans of 551 objects, primarily bright stars, from 1972 to 1981. Copernicus OAO-3. The Copernicus satellite was launched into a nearly circular 7123 km radius orbit, inclined at 35 degrees, on 21 August 1972. The main experiment was an ultraviolet telescope and spectrometer. However, it also contained a cosmic X-ray experiment provided by University College London/MSSL. The main body of Copernicus measured 3 x 2 meters. The solar pannels were fixed at an angle of 34 degrees to the observing axis, and were kept within 30 degrees of the Sun. This restriction resulted in certain parts of the sky being visible only at certain parts of the year. The astronomical instruments were co-aligned, with... More »
Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope Last Updated on 2008-04-29 00:00:00 The Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) was one of three ultraviolet instruments of the ASTRO-1 mission flown on the space shuttle Columbia during 2-10 December 1990. HUT obtained 106 spectrophotometric observations of 77 targets in the far-UV (i.e., 912-1850 Å) at a resolution of ~3 Å. A few sources were observed in the 415-912 Å region with a 1.5 Å resolution. The same three instruments were later flown on the space shuttle Endeavour from 3-17 March 1995 as part of the ASTRO-2 mission. During the longer ASTRO-2 mission, 385 observations of 265 targets were obtained. Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope - ASTRO-1 on STS-35. (Source: NASA.) HUT was conceived, designed, and built by astronomers and engineers at Johns Hopkins University to perform astronomical observations in the far-ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, wavelengths of light that are inaccessible to... More »
International Ultraviolet Explorer Last Updated on 2007-11-25 00:00:00 THIS IS A PROTOARTICLE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. FURTHER DEVELOPMENT IS ENCOURAGED. The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) performed spectrophotometry at high (0.1-0.3 Å) and low (6-7 Å) resolution between 1150 Å and 3200 Å. The data cover a dynamic range of approximately 17 astronomical magnitudes: -2 to 10 for high dispersion; -2 and 14.9 for low dispersion. Over 104,000 ultraviolet spectra were obtained with IUE between January 26, 1978, and September 30, 1996. The IUE contained a 45-cm telescope solely for spectroscopy in the wavelength range o 1150 to 3250 A. The satellite and optical instrumentation were provided by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The television cameras, used as detectors, were provided by the United Kingdom Science Engineering Research Council (SERC, formerly UKSRC). The European Space Agency (ESA, formerly ESRO) supplied solar paddles for the... More »
Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer Last Updated on 2007-11-08 00:00:00 THIS IS A PROTOARTICLE, UNDER CONSTRUCTION. FURTHER DEVELOPMENT IS ENCOURAGED. Launched in June, 1992, The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) conducted the first extreme ultraviolet (70-760 Angstroms) survey of the sky and subsequently began a Guest Observer Program of pointed spectroscopy, that ended on January 31, 2001. The satellite has four photometric imaging systems and a three-channel EUV spectrometer. The imaging instruments were used to complete the sky survey. The spectrometers were used for the pointed spectroscopic programs, which collected data from over 350 unique astronomical targets. EUVE re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on January 30, 2002. EUVE Gallery of Pictures from The Multimission Archive at STScI EUVE Mission Project Home Page from Center for EUV Astrophysics at the University of California at Berkeley. (Source: NASA Science Missions -... More »
Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment Last Updated on 2007-10-02 00:00:00 The Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE) was one of three ultraviolet telescopes on the ASTRO-1 mission flown on the space shuttle Columbia during 2-10 December, 1990. 98 observations of 75 targets were obtained. The same three instruments were later flown on the space shuttle Endeavour from 3-17 March, 1995, as part of the ASTRO-2 mission. During the longer ASTRO-2 mission, 369 observations of 254 targets were obtained. Most of the light we encounter every day is a chaotic mixture of light waves vibrating in all directions. Such a combination is known as unpolarized light. However, if the light – or other type of electromagnetic energy – passes through certain materials or is reflected, the waves will tend to vibrate more in one direction and the light is said to be polarized. You can observe polarized light by looking through a pair of polarizing sunglasses... More »