The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope: Past and Future Results from the {\it Astro-1} and {\it Astro-2} Missions

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Session 26 -- Detectors and Telescopes
Display presentation, Tuesday, 31, 1994, 9:20-6:30

[26.03] The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope: Past and Future Results from the {\it Astro-1} and {\it Astro-2} Missions

T. P. Stecher and the UIT Science Team (NASA/GSFC)

The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope is designed to obtain deep wide-field UV images of astronomical objects while in low Earth orbit aboard the Space Shuttle. The UIT is a 38 cm Ritchey-Chr\'etien with an image intensifying detection system, yielding NUV and FUV images with 40 arcmin fields of view, angular resolutions of $\sim$2 arcsec, and negligible red leakage. It flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1990 as part of the Astro-1 Spacelab mission and is scheduled to fly on the {\it Endeavour} in January 1995 as part of Astro-2 mission. This mission is expected to last 14 days --- nearly twice as long as the Astro-1 mission. Based on the experience gained during the first mission, the observing program has been tailored to optimize UIT's capabilities. Deep exposures through the broad-band NUV and FUV filters will be emphasized over many multiple-band exposures of shorter exposure time. Large, nearby, and unobscured targets will be emphasized over targets which subtend small angles, are highly inclined to the line-of-sight, or are heavily obscured. In this way UIT's wide-field UV imaging will complement the narrow-field imaging that is obtained at higher resolution and at longer wavelengths by HST's WFPC2 and FOC instruments.

To illustrate UIT's unique capabilities, UIT/UV and visible-light images of supernova remnants, globular clusters, young star clusters and associations, spiral galaxies, and circumnuclear starburst regions will be compared. The UV universe, as revealed by UIT, is dominated by discrete sources of high temperature which are rapidly evolving. Publications, based on the Astro-1 /UIT mission will be listed, and information on accessing the Astro-1 /UIT images through the NASA/NSSDC will be presented. The planned reflight of UIT as part of the January 1995 Astro-2 Spacelab mission on the Space Shuttle Endeavour will be summarized. The UIT component of this mission includes three selected Guest Investigator (GI) programs, with the chosen GI's participating as integral members of the UIT science team.

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