FIREBall-2: The Faint Intergalactic Medium Redshifted Emission Balloon Telescope
Martin, D. Christopher
Bird, Julia Blue
Ong, Hwei Ru
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
High altitude balloons
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationHamden, E., Martin, D. C., Milliard, B., Schiminovich, D., Nikzad, S., Evrard, J., ... & Saccoccio, M. (2020). FIREBall-2: The Faint Intergalactic Medium Redshifted Emission Balloon Telescope. The Astrophysical Journal, 898(2), 170.
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AbstractThe Faint Intergalactic Medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall) is a mission designed to observe faint emission from the circumgalactic medium of moderate-redshift (z similar to 0.7) galaxies for the first time. FIREBall observes a component of galaxies that plays a key role in how galaxies form and evolve, likely contains a significant amount of baryons, and has only recently been observed at higher redshifts in the visible. Here we report on the 2018 flight of the FIREBall-2 Balloon telescope, which occurred on 2018 September 22 from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The flight was the culmination of a complete redesign of the spectrograph from the original FIREBall fiber-fed integral field unit to a wide-field multiobject spectrograph. The flight was terminated early owing to a hole in the balloon, and our original science objectives were not achieved. The overall sensitivity of the instrument and telescope was 90,000 LU, due primarily to increased noise from stray light. We discuss the design of the FIREBall-2 spectrograph, including modifications from the original FIREBall payload, and provide an overview of the performance of all systems. We were able to successfully flight-test a new pointing control system, a UV-optimized, delta-doped, and coated electron multiplying CCD, and an aspheric grating. The FIREBall-2 team is rebuilding the payload for another flight attempt in the fall of 2021, delayed from 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
NoteOpen access article
VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.