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Published August 21, 1998 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Rocketborne instrument to search for infrared emission from baryonic dark matter in galactic halos


We describe the design and performance of the near IR telescope experiment (NITE), a rocket-borne instrument designed to search for IR emission from baryonic dark matter in the halos of nearby edge-on spiral galaxies. A 256 X 256 InSb array at the focus of a 16.5 cm liquid-helium- cooled telescope achieves near-background-limited sensitivity in a 3.5-5.5 micrometers waveband where the local foreground from zodiacal emission is at a minimum. This experiment represents the first scientific application of a low-background IR InSb array, a precursor to the InSb arrays intended for SIRTF, in a space-borne observation. We describe the flight performance of the instrument and preliminary scientific result from an observation of NGC 4565.

Additional Information

© 1998 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We would like to thank the payload team involved in our 1997 flight for their dedicated efforts. This research was supported by a grant from the Caltech President's Fund, NASA grant NAG5-4079, and by Grant-in-Aid 06402002 for Scientific Research from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture.

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