FUSE Mission Status Report

Mission Status Report #29      Star Date: January 17, 2000

FUSE is already making ground-breaking observations pertaining to both hot and cold gas in our galaxy. The picture at left is an artist's concept of the halo of hot gas extending above and below the plane of our Milky Way. The photo at right shows an edge-on galaxy, NGC 891, with a dark lane of cold gas and dust. Our Milky Way might look like this from a distance (if we could get outside it and look back!).

(Click either image to see expanded version.)

FUSE Makes Splash at AAS!

"The FUSE mission is open for business!" That was the word from FUSE Principal Investigator Warren Moos on January 12th, at a press conference in Atlanta where the American Astronomical Society was taking place. The FUSE Science and Operations teams presented some 25 papers at the meeting showing a wide range of science and instrument performance results from the initial few months of science operations.

The sensitivity, wavelength coverage, and high spectral resolution of FUSE make a wide range of science programs possible. Highlighted during the press conference itself were three primary areas where FUSE is making fundamental contributions. These include the widespread presence of hot gas extending into the halo of the Milky Way, new studies dissecting the temperature and velocity structure of stellar winds, and the prevalence of the signature of molecular hydrogen along a diversity of sightlines in our galaxy and beyond. These results are covered more fully in our AAS 195 Press Materials page. Also, access links to a number of on-line articles and press releases on our general Press Information page.

And the good news is, these results are just the tip of the iceberg! FUSE continues to operate nominally and new observations are coming in daily, both for the PI Science team and our Guest Investigators. On a personal note, I found it incredibly exciting to see the results of the hard work by the JHU operations team coming to fruition in these results, and to feel the excitement in the astronomical community as they viewed our results. We look forward to presenting many more results at future meetings!

Reported by: Bill Blair, Chief of Mission Planning

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