International Ultraviolet Explorer
|IUE (Explorer 57)|
NASA ESA SERC
|Begin:||January 26, 1978, 17:36 UTC|
|Starting place:||Cape Canaveral , LC-17A|
|Status:||Switched off on 09/30/1996, 18:42 UTC|
|Rotation time :||24 hours|
|Orbit inclination :||32.7 °|
IUE was a joint project of NASA , ESA and the UK SERC and was launched into geosynchronous orbit on January 26, 1978 with a Delta 2914 rocket . Instead of the originally planned three to five years, IUE was in operation until September 30, 1996. By then, four of the original six control gyroscopes had failed, but the telescope was still operational with reduced efficiency. The final failure of the control elements was not waited for, IUE was previously taken out of service, essentially for financial reasons, by being switched off by radio command in September 1996. It was one of the most successful and effective space telescopes.
IUE had a relatively small telescope with a primary mirror diameter of 45 cm. IUE did not have a camera, the instruments were two spectrographs for wavelengths between 115 and 320 nm with a spectral resolution of 0.01 nm and 0.6 nm respectively. Over 104,000 spectra of various astronomical objects were obtained. IUE was operated from two ground stations in the US and Spain. In contrast to many other space telescopes, it could be controlled directly by the observing astronomers .
A variety of questions were investigated with the spectra of IUE, for example
- Comets and satellites in the solar system
- The interstellar medium of the Milky Way
- The chromospheres of stars
- Hot stars and their stellar winds
- Starburst galaxies and the composition of their star population
- Active galaxy nuclei
- Explorer: IUE. Gunter's Space Page, December 11, 2017, accessed January 5, 2018 .
- IUE at ESA (English)
- IUE on the Science and Technology website of ESA (English)
- IUE in the NSSDCA Master Catalog (English)