each side of the spacecraft at angles of 34 degrees and had an area of 38.2 square m. A A boresight star Engineering Physics and College Internships, Beginnings of Space Astronomy at Princeton University, International Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. However, it also contained a cosmic X-ray experiment provided by University College London/MSSL. Launched Aug. 21, 1972, this satellite was primarily used to study ultraviolet emissions from interstellar gas and stars in the far reaches of the Milky Way. A complete spectrum took three days. Designation: 06153 / 72065A Launch date 21 Aug 1972 Country of origin: United States: Mission: The main instrument on the Copernicus satellite, or the Orbiting For example, the range from 1031 to 1033 Å was used to study the important O+5 absorption line at 1031.9 Å. NNX09AD33G and NNX10AE80G issued through the SMD ROSES 2009 Program. Two UHF The detector count rate is plotted against the ultraviolet wavelength, in Å, over the short wavelength range from 1047 to 1055 Å. The various molecular hydrogen lines measure the molecule in different rotationally excited states. X-ray telescope. tracker, sensitive to sixth magnitude, controlled pitch and yaw to within 5 arc-s. Although most of the observations obtained by the Copernicus satellite were analyzed and interpreted by Princeton University astronomers, NASA began to require that observations obtained with their expensive satellites be made available to astronomers not formally involved with the design and building of the satellite. Redundant tracking beacons facilitated ground tracking of the spacecraft. Two redundant pairs of VHF command A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Long-term monitoring of pulsars and other bright X-ray This Princeton University project was led by Lyman Spitzer. 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries. The last of the OAOs, OAO-C, was launched in 1972 becoming OAO-3. The satellite contained a telescope with an 0.8-meter mirror followed by a very high-resolution UV spectrometer operating from 912 to 1450 Å and from 1650 to 3000 Å. Its name was soon changed to the Copernicus satellite. Please allow popups for navigation. NASA thereby created what are now referred to as guest observer programs where other astronomers can propose observational programs and, if the programs are accepted, gain access to observations coming from the satellite observatories. second successful spacecraft to observe the celestial sphere from above the earth's objects crossing your sky now: N2YO.com on Facebook Advanced An artist's conception of the Copernicus The main instrument on the Copernicus satellite, or the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3, was an ultraviolet telescope for cosmic observations. The observational life of the mission was August 1972 to February 1981 (9.5 years). Its name was soon changed to the Copernicus satellite. While the OAO program of satellites greatly advanced the field of ultraviolet space astronomy, they had significant observational limitations. Two inertial balance booms, one forward and one aft, extended approximately 6.8 m. The spacecraft was equipped with an inertial reference unit (a high-precision In the case of the Copernicus satellite, the far UV spectrograph provided access to 800 Å of the UV spectrum but the detector recorded only 0.05 Å of that spectrum at a time. The OAO 3 spacecraft was an octagonally shaped aluminum structure with a 1.21 m hollow OAO 3 (Orbiting Astronomical Observatory), also known as Copernicus, was the third in the OAO program and its receivers were carried as part of command system capable of storing 1280 commands. To obtain the entire spectrum required 16,000 separate 14-second exposures. The satellite contained a telescope with an 0.8-meter mirror followed by a very high-resolution UV spectrometer operating from 912 to 1450 Å and from 1650 to 3000 Å. The main experiment on board was the Princeton University UV telescope, The Satellite Encyclopedia. This Princeton University project was led by Lyman Spitzer. could control the pitch and yaw to within 0.1 arc-s on bright stars. OAO 3 Also called Copernicus for the 500th anniversary of Copernic. In general, the detectors on the early satellites were extremely inefficient for recording complete UV spectra. was controlled by inertia wheels and thrusters. For more information about this spectrum, see Spitzer, L., Jenkins, E. B. The molecular hydrogen absorption is so strong it implies that 68% of the hydrogen in the cloud toward the star is in the form of the molecule with the rest being atomic hydrogen. For most scientific programs spectroscopic information was only obtained for very narrow spectral ranges. Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page. The Copernicus Satellite (OAO-3) Copernicus, or Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3 (OAO-3)was a collaborative effort between the USA (NASA) and the UK (SERC). The last of the OAOs, OAO-C, was launched in 1972 becoming OAO-3. observations. Cold molecular hydrogen in the interstellar gas can only be studied at UV wavelengths. Company. enabled spacecraft pointing to be determined in many different ways. addition, the high-resolution telescope experiment had a fine pointing control, which (OAO-3) satellite in orbit. Solar panels were mounted on In addition to its main ultraviolet telescope, Copernicus carried an (Credit: NASA), Country (primary): United States and United Kingdom. Very strong absorption features (dips) are due to molecular hydrogen, molecular hydrogen , in the interstellar cloud in front of ζ Ophiuchi. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A UV telescope with a spectrometer measured high-resolution spectra of stars, Copernicus (OAO-3) was equipped with more powerful instruments, including a reflecting telescope with a 32-inch (81-cm) mirror.

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