Astronomy Today

Ultraviolet Space Telescopes

What were the first ultraviolet telescopes to be deployed in space?

The first ultraviolet telescopes included eight Orbiting Solar Observatories (OSO), which were launched between 1962 and 1975. The OSO measured ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. The data collected from these telescopes provided scientists with a much more complete picture of the solar corona. A series of Orbiting Astronomical Observatories (OAO) were also deployed, and were used to study ultraviolet emissions from objects other than the Sun, including thousands of stars, a comet, and a number of galaxies. From 1972 to 1980, OAO Copernicus collected ultraviolet data on a number of stars, as well as on the temperature, composition, and structure of the interstellar medium.


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