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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

DEUCE

The Dual-Channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Experiment (DEUCE) aims to directly measure the amount of Lyman continuum (LyC) radiation that is being produced by early B stars in the Milky Way. One of the major questions for modern astrophysics is how and when galaxies first formed and how their formation modified their circumgalactic environments thus impacting early galaxy formation during the Epoch of Reionization at z= 6-11. Only two non-white-dwarf stars in our own galaxy are known to have sufficiently low neutral hydrogen column density to measure their ionization radiation directly: Beta Canis Majoris ( CMa) and Epsilon Canis Major (CMa). In December 2018, DEUCE successfully observed CMa. DEUCE is scheduled to observe CMa in November 2020.

EUV radiation is also integral in the processes that determine whether or not a rocky planet can support life. EUV radiation from the host star has the capability to heat the planet’s atmosphere sufficiently to cause rapid atmospheric mass-loss. As part of NASA’s Australia sounding rocket campaign, DEUCE aims to make the first direct EUV observation in the crucial 500 – 900 Å window of a potential exoplanet host star system, Alpha Centauri A+B. This will be the first observation of a low-mass star other than the Sun in the 500 – 900 Å bandpass.

Science team at the DEUCE II launch