ann1009 - Announcement

Huge New Collection of Hubble Spectra Now Available

4 August 2010

Although the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is mostly famous for its spectacular pictures this is only a small part of its capability. It is also possible to use a prism to spread out the light from all the stars and remote galaxies seen in a Hubble image into their component colours to create what are called slitless spectra. These can be used by astronomers to learn far more about the nature of astronomical objects — their distance, composition and likely nature. The Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF), based at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany, has processed a huge collection of slitless spectra from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys into a form ready for astronomers to use. The resultant set of more than 47 000 individual spectra is the largest of its kind ever created and will be a rich resource for future work.

This spectral collection is a major contribution from the ST-ECF to the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA), a large project to optimise science from the Hubble Space Telescope by providing online, enhanced Hubble products and advanced browsing capabilities. The HLA is a joint project of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the ST-ECF and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC).

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

Links

Contacts

Piero Rosati
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6539
Email: prosati@eso.org

Jeremy Walsh
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6248
Email: jwalsh@eso.org

Olivier Usher
Junior ESA/Hubble Public Information Officer
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6855
Email: ousher@eso.org

About the Announcement

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Images

Composite of the galaxy image (left) and the spectrum (right)
Composite of the galaxy image (left) and the spectrum (right)

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