A new and sensitive set-up to swiftly test proposed carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), over a relatively broad spectral range, is described. The instrument utilizes broad-band cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (BBCEAS) and incorporates an optomechanical shutter to modulate light from a continuous incoherent light source. A pulsed supersonically expanding planar plasma expansion is used to mimic conditions in translucent interstellar clouds. Measurements of plasma durations as low as 400 μs are possible. The sensitivity is estimated to be better than 10 ppm/pass, measured with an effective exposure time of only ca. 1 s. The performance and potential of the instrument is demonstrated on spectra of C5H, C6H and C9H3 recorded through expanding hydrocarbon plasma.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2014|
- Laboratory astrophysics
- supersonic plasma jet