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Building galaxies, stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars. The science behind the European Ultraviolet-Visible Observatory

Gómez de Castro, Ana I. and Hillenbrand, Lynne (2014) Building galaxies, stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars. The science behind the European Ultraviolet-Visible Observatory. Astrophysics and Space Science, 354 (1). pp. 229-246. ISSN 0004-640X. doi:10.1007/s10509-014-1942-7. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141204-125541828

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Abstract

This contribution gathers the contents of the white paper submitted by the UV community to the Call issued by the European Space Agency in March 2013, for the definition of the L2 and L3 missions in the ESA science program. We outlined the key science that a large UV facility would make possible and the instrumentation to be implemented. The growth of luminous structures and the building blocks of life in the Universe began as primordial gas was processed in stars and mixed at galactic scales. The mechanisms responsible for this development are not well-understood and have changed over the intervening 13 billion years. To follow the evolution of matter over cosmic time, it is necessary to study the strongest (resonance) transitions of the most abundant species in the Universe. Most of them are in the ultraviolet (UV; 950 Å–3000 Å) spectral range that is unobservable from the ground. A versatile space observatory with UV sensitivity a factor of 50–100 greater than existing facilities will revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. Habitable planets grow in protostellar discs under ultraviolet irradiation, a by-product of the star-disk interaction that drives the physical and chemical evolution of discs and young planetary systems. The electronic transitions of the most abundant molecules are pumped by this UV field, providing unique diagnostics of the planet-forming environment that cannot be accessed from the ground. Earth’s atmosphere is in constant interaction with the interplanetary medium and the solar UV radiation field. A 50–100 times improvement in sensitivity would enable the observation of the key atmospheric ingredients of Earth-like exoplanets (carbon, oxygen, ozone), provide crucial input for models of biologically active worlds outside the solar system, and provide the phenomenological baseline to understand the Earth atmosphere in context.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10509-014-1942-7DOIArticle
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10509-014-1942-7PublisherArticle
http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3358arXivDiscussion Paper
Additional Information:© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Received: 29 January 2014; Accepted: 7 April 2014; Published online: 13 May 2014. We thank the 336 scientists who supported this proposal. The details on the proposal and the names of all of the supporters are available in the website of the Network for UltraViolet Astronomy (NUVA): http://www.nuva.eu. Ana I. Gómez de Castro and Javier López-Santiago acknowledge the support from the MINECO through grant: AYA2011-29754-C03-01.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
MINECO (Spain)AYA2011-29754-C03-01
Subject Keywords:Ultraviolet: general; Ultraviolet: galaxies; Ultraviolet: stars; Ultraviolet: ISM; Ultraviolet: solar
Issue or Number:1
DOI:10.1007/s10509-014-1942-7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141204-125541828
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141204-125541828
Official Citation:Gómez de Castro, A., Appourchaux, T., Barstow, M., Barthelemy, M., Baudin, F., Benetti, S., . . . Vilchez, J. (2014). Building galaxies, stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars. The science behind the European Ultraviolet-Visible Observatory. Astrophysics and Space Science, 354(1), 229-246. doi: 10.1007/s10509-014-1942-7
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52398
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:04 Dec 2014 23:42
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:40

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