NASA Lends Ultraviolet Space Telescope to Caltech


Caltech has taken over operation from NASA of the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), a space telescope that for the last nine years has been surveying the cosmos in ultraviolet light. In this first agreement of its kind, NASA is lending the telescope to Caltech, which has led the mission and will continue operating and managing it through the support of private funders.

Launched in April 2003, GALEX was designed to study how galaxies change and evolve over time. Because young, high-mass stars are especially hot, they radiate a lot of ultraviolet light, meaning that the brighter the ultraviolet light from a galaxy, the faster its stars are forming. By observing in ultraviolet wavelengths, GALEX has been able to measure the formation rates of stars in millions of galaxies. The telescope has helped astronomers determine how the rates of star formation in other galaxies have changed over the last eight billion years and how that process leads to the evolution of those galaxies.

Now, GALEX is embarking on a new phase in its mission.

Full Story: http://features.caltech.edu/features/372

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