High Resolution Spectroscopy with ASTRO


Mike Wilson, University of California, San Francisco
During the 2006 January 15 STARDUST Sample Return Capsule entry observing campaign, the highest spectral resolution data gathered onboard NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory was measured with a fixed-mounted slit-less cooled CCD spectrograph, called "ASTRO". Spectra were recorded in three 0.8-second periods centered on 09:57:32.5, 34.4s, and 36.3s (0.5s) UT, when the SRC was at an altitude of 60.2 km and 210 km from the observers. This is around the time of peak heating (~09:57:33 UT). In third order, the spectral lines have a width FWHM = 0.15 0.01 nm. The observed spectrum is a composite of first, second, and third order emissions. Here we describe how these contributions were disentangled. In first order, only continuum emission was detected. In second order, there is the 615 nm line of oxygen. In third order, the CN violet 0-0 band was detected, the isoelectric N2+ band, and two Ca+ lines. The relative intensities and shapes of the CN violet bands suggest Tv = Tr = 8,000 1,000 K, assuming no self absorption.