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Astrophysics Research and Analysis

Emission Line Astronomy - Coronagraphic Tunable Narrow Band Imaging and Integral Field Spectroscopy.

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Emission Line Astronomy - Coronagraphic Tunable Narrow Band Imaging and Integral Field Spectroscopy.
We propose to continue our program of emission line astronomy featuring three areas of emphasis: 1) The distribution and nature of high redshift emission line galaxies, using the Lyman alpha and other rest-frame UV lines; and the study of planetary systems in formation in the first 10 Myrs, with the interplay of circumstellar disks and jets; and spectral differencing of transiting planets. 2) We are extending the capability of our Goddard Fabry-Perot Imager by incorporating a Coronagraphic Integral Field Spectrograph (CIFS), and will continue our observations with the improved instrument. We request support for completing the commissioning of the instrument, and for its maintenance and operation. The CIFS, which has been delivered to the Apache Point Observatory's 3.5-m telescope, consists of a custom microlens array and magnifier section, a grating wheel assembly, and a photon-counting electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD), within the optical train of the Fabry-Perot. The instrument is switchable between Fabry-Perot and IFS modes. It provides observational support to interpret data from the HST, Spitzer, Chandra, Herschel and soon JWST space observatories with capabilities not available on them, and will be used to develop technology for future NASA flight programs such as WFIRST, and NWO, THEIA, ATLAST and other planet-finding missions. In this period we propose to extend the wavelength coverage of the CIFS, by extending the format of the EMCCD. More »

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