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Mission Websites

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The IUE Comet Observations

The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) was launched on 26 January 1978 to serve as the first 'observatory facility' in space for use by guest observers. It contains two pairs (a Prime pair and a Redundant pair) of spectrographs, the Short-Wave spectrometer covering 1200-2000Å and the Long-Wave spectrometer covering 1900-3350Å. Both had a low dispersion (single grating) mode and a high resolution (cross-dispersed echelon) mode. There was gradual deterioration over that remarkably long operational period, including loos of gyroscopes, which resulted in less accurate pointing from 1985 on, and scattered light at small solar elongations thought to be reflections from torn pieces of thermal blankets. Having been designed for three years of operation, the observatory was shut down on 30 September 1996, after more than 18 years of continuous operation.

This dataset consists of all spectra of comets that were obtained with IUE, extracted from the IUE databases and uniformly processed. The SWR spectrograph (Short-Wave Redundant) was almost never used. Use of LWP (Long-Wave Prime) was transferred to LWR (Long-Wave Redundant) fairly early in the mission. Spectra are numbered sequentially within each of the three cameras. Prefixes other than LWP, LWR, and SWP correspond to various processing stages (but always beginning with L or S).

Additional IUE spectra associated with the impact of comet D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter are in the separate S-L9 dataset collection. Those are spectra of the impact events with Jupiter as the primary target rather than the comet.

Instruments

Data Sets

Comets

D/Shoemaker-Levy 9

Related Datasets

Use the Small Bodies Data Ferret to find other datasets for this mission/target.