CCA Colloquium: Erika Hamden
Title: Exploring the diffuse universe in the space ultraviolet
Abstract: The ultraviolet is experiencing a boom of interest, resulting in exciting mission developments in space astrophysics. This boom is driven less by recent scientific discoveries (the UV has always been scientifically rich) but rather is driven by technology advancements due to investments over the past 2 decades. In this talk, I will highlight how work on detector, mirror, and spacecraft technology has opened up exciting opportunities in the UV. I will describe ongoing work to observe the circum-galactic medium around galaxies with FIREBall-2, launching later in 2022, and Aspera, a NASA Pioneers SmallSat scheduled for launch in 2025. I will also describe a mission in development, Hyperion, which explores molecular hydrogen gas in Galactic star forming regions and planet forming disks via FUV fluorescence.