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Session 85 - Instruments, Databases and Techniques.
Oral session, Thursday, June 13
The SIRTF-Cornell Echelle spectrograph (SCORE) uses the large format (128x128) of modern mid-IR (5-40 \mum) focal plane arrays to dispense with moving parts and collect a spectrum at a resolution of 600 over an octave in wavelength in a single exposure. SCORE's optical bench was constructed to demonstrate the usefulness and reliability of such a spectrograph for SIRTF, operating over the 10 to 20 \mum range. With the addition of cold reimaging optics and the exchange of a grating and a filter, SCORE can operate on a ground-based telescope over the 7.5-14.5 \mum atmospheric window. While the instrument has a small field of view, 1 Airy dark ring diameter in width and 2 in length at 10 \mum, it is much faster at collecting a full spectrum of a point-like source than spectrographs with longer slits which must make many exposures to cover the octave. SCORE also guarantees that the entire spectrum refers to simultaneous conditions in the object observed, an important consideration in observing time-variable phenomena like comets or planetary atmospheres. We present laboratory test data, our plans to observe with SCORE at the Palomar 5 m in the fall, discuss operating conditions and sensitivities, and mention a few science projects for which SCORE is particularly well-suited such as observations of active galactic nuclei and Solar System objects.
Program listing for Thursday