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Proceedings Paper

PRIME: probing the very early universe
Author(s): Wei Zheng; Holland C. Ford; Jeffrey W. Kruk; Zlatan I. Tsvetanov; Alexander Szalay; George F. Hartig; Hervey S. Stockman; Marc Postman; G. Mark Voit; Peter K. Shu; Matthew A. Greenhouse; Hans-Walter Rix; Rainer Lenzen; Steven M. Kent; Christopher Stoughton; Alain Omont; Yannick Mellier
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Paper Abstract

PRIME (The Primordial Explorer) is a proposed Explorer-class mission. It will carry out a deep sky survey from space in four near-infrared bands between ~0.9-3.5 μm. It surveys a quarter of the sky to AB magnitude of ~24, which is ~600 times deeper than 2MASS and ~ five million times deeper than COBE at long wavelengths. Deeper surveys in selected sky regions are also planned. PRIME will reach an epoch during which the first quasars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies were formed in the early universe, map the large-scale structure of the dark matter, discover Type-Ia supernovae to be used in measuring the acceleration of the expanding universe, and detect thousands of brown dwarfs and even Jupiter-size planets in the vicinity of the solar system. Most of these objects are so rare that they may be identified only in large and deep surveys. PRIME will serve as the precursor for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), supplying rare targets for its spectroscopy and deep imaging. It is more than capable of providing targets for the largest ground-based telescopes (10-30m). Combining PRIME with other surveys (SDSS, GALEX) will yield the largest astronomical database ever built.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2003
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4850, IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (5 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461927
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Zheng, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Holland C. Ford, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Jeffrey W. Kruk, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Zlatan I. Tsvetanov, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Alexander Szalay, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
George F. Hartig, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Hervey S. Stockman, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
G. Mark Voit, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Peter K. Shu, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Matthew A. Greenhouse, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Hans-Walter Rix, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Rainer Lenzen, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Steven M. Kent, Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (United States)
Christopher Stoughton, Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (United States)
Alain Omont, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (France)
Yannick Mellier, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4850:
IR Space Telescopes and Instruments
John C. Mather, Editor(s)

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