Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Disaster

This is what ACS looks like on the ground...

Disaster, the main instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope died on Saturday. The camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) is the most in demand instrument on the telescope. The last call for proposals which only closed on Friday had 747 proposals to use HST, 498 (one of which was mine dammit) of which were to use ACS, thats 67% to you stat lovers. It looks like its not going to be possible to repair the instrument, at least not before the next servicing mission sometime next year, and even then there probably isn't enough time to do much while they are there. This is going to prove to be a huge loss to the astronomical community as no other instrument is capable of the fine resolution over a relatively large field of view that ACS provided. The servicing mission will install a new camera WFPC3, but this just won't be as sensitive as ACS at certain wavelengths (like the ones I'm interested in).

... and this is what it could do when in space.

It looks like we can kiss goodbye to our HST proposal, unless we can come up with a clever way to use one of the other instruments. Hmm, back to work.

5 comments:

IbaDaiRon said...

Sorry to hear this.

Yet another brick in the foundation of the monumental Bush legacy....

(sigh)

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