CCD Imaging and Slit Less Spectroscopy of the Stardust SRC Entry Radiation

Franziska Harms, Universitaet Stuttgart, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Germany
Observations were made during the reentry of the Stardust sample return capsule on Jan 15th 2006 in order to calibrate the level of radiation from the capsule surface, from the bow shock, and from its wake. A sensitive cooled CCD camera was used equipped with a grating to record simultaneously the first order spectrum of the capsule and that of the background stars. The radiation of the capsule was dominated by the grey-body radiation from the hot surface. We calibrated the results of the capsule spectrum with known radiation of the background stars. The purpose of this calibration was to provide cross check for other instruments participating in the Stardust airborne observation campaign. In addition, we obtained eight short exposure images that show the billowing of the wake and its motion by the upper atmosphere winds.