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Wavelengths and Oscillator Strengths for Space Astronomy



Craig J. Sansonetti, Joseph Reader


Over a period of more than a decade the Atomic Spectroscopy Group at NIST has carried out laboratory research to support the observing program of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Our Initial effort concerned the wavelength calibration of GHRS by means of on-board platinum/neon hollow cathode lamps. Such lamps were originally used for calibration on the IUE satellite; however, the wavelengths availabel 10 years ago were not of sufficient accuracy for GHRS. We used our 10.7-m normal-incidence vacuum spectrograph to observe the spectrum of a copper hollow cathode lampcontaining a coil of platinum wire. We measured wavelenghts to 0.0020 for 3000 lines from 1100 to 4000 and also made photometric scans of this entire region obtaining quantitative intensities and wavelength measurements of lower accuracy for many weaker lines. Our results were assembled in an atlas [1] which gives wavelengths and intensities for 5600 lines. This atlas is now available on the NIST Physics Laboratory home page on the World Wide Web ( Use of the Pt/Ne spectra for calibration of GHRS is described by HEAp et al. [2]. The use of this wavelength standard is continuing on the new Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS).
Proceedings Title
Workshop Proceedings
Conference Dates
April 1-3, 1998
Conference Title
NASA Laboratory Space Science Workshop


astronomy, atomic energy levels, atomic spectroscopy, bismuth, lead, mercury, zirconium


Sansonetti, C. and Reader, J. (1998), Wavelengths and Oscillator Strengths for Space Astronomy, Workshop Proceedings (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created April 1, 1998, Updated February 17, 2017