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Far-UV sensitivity of the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

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Type
Preprint
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Submission Date
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/709/2/L183
Source
arXiv
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Yellow
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Abstract

We demonstrate that the G140L segment B channel of the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) recently installed on the {\it Hubble Space Telescope (HST)} has an effective area consistent with $\sim$ 10 cm$^2$ in the bandpass between the Lyman edge at 912 \AA and Lyman $\beta$, rising to a peak in excess of 1000 cm$^2$ longward of 1130 \AA. This is a new wavelength regime for {\it HST} and will allow opportunities for unique science investigations. In particular, investigations seeking to quantify the escape fraction of Lyman continuum photons from galaxies at low redshift, determine the scale-length of the hardness variation in the metagalactic ionizing background over the redshift range 2 $< z \lesssim$ 2.8, measure the ratio of CO to H$_2$ in dense interstellar environments with $A_V >$ 3, or harness the high temperature diagnostic power of the \ion{O}{6} $\lambda\lambda$ 1032, 1038 doublet can now be carried out with unprecedented sensitivity.

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