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Astrophysics Research and Analysis

Extreme-Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Nearby B-Stars: Testing Models of Cosmic Reionization

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Extreme-Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Nearby B-Stars: Testing Models of Cosmic Reionization

This is a four-year sounding rocket investigation focusing on the extreme-ultraviolet (EUV; 500 - 1150 Å) spectrophotometry of nearby B-stars. Our observations will not only provide powerful constraints on stellar atmosphere models, but also provide key insights towards understanding the reionization of the early universe. The critical region from 700 - 900 Å, where the ionization cross section for neutral hydrogen is at its greatest, has never been observed for any B stars , nor is there any planned instrumentation to cover this waveband. Therefore, a sub-orbital mission is the ideal program to accomplish this science. We will develop a sounding rocket payload called DEUCE – the Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Experiment. The proposed program addresses NASA's strategic goals by: A) making unique observations relevant to the physics of re-ionization; B) demonstrating the space worthiness of a new class of ultraviolet detectors, and C) training the next generation of NASA space-mission scientists and PIs

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