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Proceedings Paper

FORTIS: pathfinder to the Lyman continuum
Author(s): Stephan R. McCandliss; Kevin France; Paul D. Feldman; Karl Glazebrook; Gerhardt Meurer; Luciana Bianchi; H. Warren Moos; Jeffrey W. Kruk; William P. Blair; Ivan Baldry
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Paper Abstract

Shull et al. have asserted that the contribution of stars, relative to quasars, to the metagalactic background radiation that ionizes most of the baryons in the universe remains almost completely unknown at all epochs. The potential to directly quantify this contribution at low redshift has recently become possible with the identification by GALEX of large numbers of sparsely distributed faint ultraviolet galaxies. Neither STIS nor FUSE nor GALEX have the ability to efficiently survey these sparse fields and directly measure the Lyman continuum radiation that may leak into the low redshift (z < 0.4) intergalactic medium. We present here a design for a new type of far ultraviolet spectrograph, one that is more sensitive, covers wider fields, and can provide spectra and images of a large number of objects simultaneously, called the Far-ultraviolet Off Rowland-circle Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy (FORTIS). We intend to use a sounding rocket flight to validate the new instrument with a simple long-slit observation of the starburst populations in the galaxy M83. If however, the long-slit were replaced with microshutter array, this design could isolate the chains of blue galaxies found by GALEX over an ~30' diameter field-of-view and directly address the Lyman continuum problem in a long duration orbital mission. Thus, our development of the sounding rocket instrument is a pathfinder to a new wide field spectroscopic technology for enabling the potential discovery of the long hypothesized but elusive Lyman continuum radiation that is thought to leak from low redshift galaxies and contribute to the ionization of the universe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5488, UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems, (11 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552799
Show Author Affiliations
Stephan R. McCandliss, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Kevin France, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Paul D. Feldman, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Karl Glazebrook, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Gerhardt Meurer, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Luciana Bianchi, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
H. Warren Moos, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Jeffrey W. Kruk, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
William P. Blair, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Ivan Baldry, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5488:
UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems
Guenther Hasinger; Martin J. L. Turner, Editor(s)

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