LWS - ISO's Long Wavelength Spectrometer

This is a picture of the long wavelength spectrometer. Like the short wavelength spectrometer, it spreads the infrared light from an object out into a spectrum, but it differs in the infrared colours to which it is sensitive. Similar types of information can be gained from it's measurements.

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The picture was prepared by the ISO LWS development project, and was released by the ISO UK support team at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The picture shows the gold coloured detector array on the right. In the centre is a Faby-Perot, which enables LWS to measure very fine detail on a small part of the spectrum. This could be used, for example, to measure speeds of material within gas clouds.

LWS has also been doing important work on the chemistry of astronomical objects, enabling is to work out how physical conditions affect the mixture of chemical substances we find.

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These observations were observed for D. Neufeld using the LWS high resolution Fabry-Perot at the very long wavelength of 121 microns.

LWS has identified Hydrogen Fluoride in a dense cloud towards the centre of our galaxy. Although we know of about a hundred different molecules in space, this is the first time one has been found containing fluorine.

Last updated: 10 October 2001
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