FIREBall-2: Trailblazing observations of the space UV circumgalactic medium (Columbia University, Co-I Proposal)

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019

Columbia University is a Co-I institution in a collaborative research program with Caltech, the Lead Institution (PI: Christopher Martin).

The Faint Intergalactic-medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2) is designed to discover and map faint emission from the circumgalactic medium of low redshift galaxies (0.3<z<1.0). This balloon is a modification of FIREBall-1 (FB-1), a path-finding mission built by our team with two successful flights (2007 Engineering, 2009 Science). FB-1 provided the strongest constrains on intergalactic and circumgalactic (IGM, CGM) emission available from any instrument at the time.

FIREBall-2 has been significantly upgraded compared to FB-1, and is in the final stages of integration for a September 2016 flight from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. The spectrograph has been redesigned with a wider field of view and greater efficiency. An upgraded detector system including a groundbreaking high QE, low-noise, UV optimized CCD detector is under final dark current and noise testing and will improve instrument performance by more than an order of magnitude. CNES is providing the spectrograph, gondola, and gondola flight support team, with construction of all components complete and final alignment and testing ongoing. We propose three additional years of funding to support the FIREBall-2 team in one additional flight in 2018 to fully utilize the upgraded spectrograph. This second flight, along with the funded 2016 flight, will conduct an initial blind CGM survey of dense fields at z~0.7, conduct a targeted search of circumquasar (CQM) media for selected targets, and conduct follow up on likely tar-gets selected via GALEX and a pilot survey conducted by our group. We will also conduct a statistical search for the faint IGM via statistical stacking of our data. The FIREBall-2 team includes two female graduate students in key roles (both of whom are finishing their PhDs in 2016) and is overseen by a female Postdoctoral scholar (supported by NSF AAPF and Caltech Millikan Fellowships, in addition to a recent Roman Technology Fellowship award). Additional funding is necessary to keep this highly qualified balloon team together for a second flight.

FIREBall-2 will test key technologies and science strategies for a future space mission to map emission from CGM and IGM baryons. Its flights will continue to provide important training for the next generation of space astrophysicists working in UV and other wavelength instrumentation. Most importantly, FIREBall-2 will detect emission from the CGM of nearby galaxies, providing the first census of the density and kinematics of this material for low z galaxies and open-ing a new field of CGM science.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date February 28, 2019
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date February 28, 2019
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_90903
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id fca5bf20-993f-4b36-8bb8-809a74977400
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2019-12-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-09-05
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash e534238ea17371d29c5908a98cbb2ba5821249ac
Source Schema Version 1.1

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.