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The molecular hydrogen explorer H2EX

Boulanger, F. and Maillard, J. P. and Appleton, P. and Falgarone, E. and Lagache, G. and Schulz, B. and Wakker, B. P. and Bressan, A. and Cernicharo, J. and Charmandaris, V. and Drissen, L. and Helou, G. and Henning, T. and Lim, T. L. and Valentjin, E. A. and Abergel, A. and Le Bourlot, J. and Bouzit, M. and Cabrit, S. and Combes, F. and Deharveng, J. M. and Desmet, P. and Dole, H. and Dumesnil, C. and Dutrey, A. and Fourmond, J. J. and Gavila, E. and Grangé, R. and Gry, C. and Guillard, P. and Guilloteau, S. and Habart, E. and Huet, B. and Joblin, C. and Langer, M. and Longval, Y. and Madden, S. C. and Martin, C. and Miville-Deschênes, M. A. and Pineau des Forêts, G. and Pointecouteau, E. and Roussel, H. and Tresse, L. and Verstraete, L. and Viallefond, F. and Bertoldi, F. and Jorgensen, J. and Bouwman, J. and Carmona, A. and Krause, O. and Baruffolo, A. and Bonoli, C. and Bortoletto, F. and Danese, L. and Granato, G. L. and Pernechele, C. and Rampazzo, R. and Silva, L. and de Zotti, G. and Pardo, J. and Spaans, M. and van der Tak, F. F. S. and Wild, W. and Ferlet, M. J. and Ramsay Howat, S. K. and Smith, M. D. and Swinyard, B. and Wright, G. S. and Joncas, G. and Martin, P. G. and Davis, C. J. and Draine, B. T. and Goldsmith, P. F. and Mainzer, A. K. and Ogle, P. and Rinehart, S. A. and Stacey, G. J. and Tielens, A. G. G. M. (2009) The molecular hydrogen explorer H2EX. Experimental Astronomy, 23 (1). pp. 277-302. ISSN 0922-6435. doi:10.1007/s10686-008-9108-7.

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The Molecular Hydrogen Explorer, H2EX, was proposed in response to the ESA 2015 - 2025 Cosmic Vision Call as a medium class space mission with NASA and CSA participations. The mission, conceived to understand the formation of galaxies, stars and planets from molecular hydrogen, is designed to observe the first rotational lines of the H_2 molecule (28.2, 17.0, 12.3 and 9.7 μm) over a wide field, and at high spectral resolution. H2EX can provide an inventory of warm (≥ 100 K) molecular gas in a broad variety of objects, including nearby young star clusters, galactic molecular clouds, active galactic nuclei, local and distant galaxies. The rich array of molecular, atomic and ionic lines, as well as solid state features available in the 8 to 29 μm spectral range brings additional science dimensions to H2EX. We present the optical and mechanical design of the H2EX payload based on an innovative Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer fed by a 1.2m telescope. The 20’×20’ field of view is imaged on two 1024×1024 Si:As detectors. The maximum resolution of 0.032 cm^(−1) (full width at half maximum) means a velocity resolution of 10 kms^(−1) for the 0 – 0 S(3) line at 9.7 μm. This instrument offers the large field of view necessary to survey extended emission in the Galaxy and local Universe galaxies as well as to perform unbiased extragalactic and circumstellar disks surveys. The high spectral resolution makes H_2EX uniquely suited to study the dynamics of H2 in all these environments. The mission plan is made of seven wide-field spectro-imaging legacy programs, from the cosmic web to galactic young star clusters, within a nominal two years mission. The payload has been designed to re-use the Planck platform and passive cooling design.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ReadCube access
Appleton, P.0000-0002-7607-8766
Lagache, G.0000-0003-1492-2519
Charmandaris, V.0000-0002-2688-1956
Helou, G.0000-0003-3367-3415
Combes, F.0000-0003-2658-7893
Guillard, P.0000-0002-2421-1350
Martin, C.0000-0002-8650-1644
Bertoldi, F.0000-0002-1707-1775
Rampazzo, R.0000-0001-5318-9183
de Zotti, G.0000-0003-2868-2595
Martin, P. G.0000-0002-5236-3896
Draine, B. T.0000-0002-0846-936X
Goldsmith, P. F.0000-0002-6622-8396
Ogle, P.0000-0002-3471-981X
Additional Information:© 2009 Springer Science. Received: 31 October 2007 / Accepted: 3 June 2008 / Published online: 16 July 2008. The authors gratefully acknowledge help and advices from René Laureijs at ESA who, as former H2EX PI, was the early initiator of the new H2EX mission. The preparation of the proposal was supported by the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Star formation; Galaxies; ISM; Disks; Astronomical instrumentation
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090810-090018904
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Boulanger, F., Maillard, J.P., Appleton, P. et al. The molecular hydrogen explorer H2EX. Exp Astron 23, 277–302 (2009).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14915
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:02 Sep 2009 23:41
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:15

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