November 19, 2017

The Great Orbiting Observatories II: The Ultraviolet.

Galaxy M81 blazes with star birth in the ultraviolet. (Creidt: GALEX/NASA).

Galaxy M81 blazes with star birth in the ultraviolet. (Credit: GALEX/NASA).

 

   When we last left our installment of this saga, we covered the observatories that target the visible edge of our spectrum. This is a narrow slice; a tiny sliver of what we call the electromagnetic spectrum. This week, we move into the ultraviolet, a span of the spectrum at roughly between 10 to 320 nanometers. UV from space is almost entirely absorbed by our atmosphere, and thus, if you want to observe the universe or do UV astronomy, you have to go into space to do it. [Read more...]