Solar System Science in the FUSE Band with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on HST

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Steven Neil Osterman1, Steven V. Penton2, Cristina M. Oliveira2, Andrew F. Cheng1 and James C. Green3, (1)Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States, (2)Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States, (3)University of Colorado, Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, Boulder, CO, United States
The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph is a high sensitivity, medium resolution FUV/NUV point source spectrograph currently operating onboard the Hubble Space Telescope that is ideally suited for observing dim, compact objects. By taking advantage of the wide range of grating positions possible and the windowless detector we have developed new observing modes that extend COS sensitivity to 90nm at throughputs comparable to the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. To date multiple compact solar system objects have been observed using COS, including Galilean moons, the Pluto-Charon system. By extending the wavelength coverage to below the MgF2 window cutoff we enable observations of a wide range of atomic and molecular emissions that have not been accessible since the end of the FUSE mission. These include, for example, S II, III and IV and Cl II and III emissions from the Io plasma torus, Ar I, N I, O I and IV, H2, and CO emissions from comets, and H2 emissions from giant planet atmospheres.