Cosmic Origins Spectrograph News

Alessandra Aloisi,, for the COS team

The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) was installed on Hubble during Servicing Mission 4 (SM4) on May 16, 2009. Since then, a vigorous scientific program has been underway using COS’s unique ultraviolet spectroscopic capabilities (for an example, see Fig. 1).

By the end of June 2010, the far-ultraviolet (FUV) detector on COS had been used to make ~1300 spectroscopic science exposures of external targets, and the near-ultraviolet (NUV) detector had been used for ~550. An additional ~1000 exposure sequences were performed for target acquisitions, and ~970 internal calibration exposures had been taken.

The topics of COS science papers that have already appeared in refereed journals include a supernovae remnant (France et al. 2009, ApJ, 707, 27), a massive run-away star from the extreme star-forming region 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud (Evans et al. 2010, ApJ, 715, L74), the accretion disk of a young brown dwarf star in our Galaxy (France et al. 2010, ApJ, 715, 596), high velocity clouds (Lehner & Howk 2010, ApJ, 709, 138), the warm intergalactic medium (Danforth, Stock, & Shull 2010, ApJ, 710, 613), and transiting extrasolar planets (France et al. 2010, ApJ, 712, 1277; Fossati et al. 2010, ApJ, 714, L222). Many other COS results have been presented in conference proceedings and preprints.