Science Seminars

Spectroscopic Mapping of Supernova Remnants, Galaxies, and Other Beautiful Things Commonly Seen in Astronomy Picture of the Day

Speaker: Brian Fleming (CU/LASP)
Date: Thursday, Feb 04, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:

Massive stars are the engines of galaxy evolution, driving gas enrichment, galactic winds, and further star-formation via their deaths as supernovae, as well as providing the majority of the stellar ionizing radiation output. Sensitive tracers of the impact of these massive stars are located in the far-ultraviolet spectrum, especially the windowless, or Lyman-UV, at wavelengths below 115 nm. In the local universe, galaxies and supernovae remnants are often grand extended objects of the type that have graced wall calendars for decades. Our resources, however, have been limited to point-source spectrographs that poorly sample the spatial extent and variations within these objects. The Stellar group within the Solar-Stellar division of LASP has been working to bridge this capability gap and efficiently map far-UV emission from supernovae remnants and galaxies to sub-arcminute scales for the first time. SPRITE is NASA’s first 12U scientific cubesat and leverages new technologies to provide imaging spectroscopic capability with sensitivity in excess of previous Explorer-class programs. INFUSE is a sounding rocket instrument with a new form of image slicer design that will be the first far-UV integral field spectrograph. Both instruments will map shocked gas in supernovae remnants, while SPRITE will also survey ionizing radiation escape from low-redshift galaxies. Both are pathfinders for future larger orbital missions. I will also discuss advanced instrument concepts under development that utilize MEMS devices and far-UV fiber optics for similar spectral-multiplexing enhancement, as well as discuss the long-term ambitions of the extragalactic wing of the Solar-Stellar division, and how we fit in with the broader LASP community.