An all-sky survey at 230 GHz by MLS on Aura

Hugh C. Pumphrey, Richard E. Cofield, Mark J. Filipiak, Nathaniel J. Livesey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument is a small satellite-borne radio telescope. Its purpose is to make limb-scanning measurements of atmospheric composition. One of the gases to which it is sensitive is carbon monoxide (CO), detected via the J = 2 -> 1 rotational transition at 230 GHz. CO is present in molecular gas clouds in the Milky Way. Although it was not designed for the purpose, MLS can detect emissions from galactic CO, allowing a map of the 230 GHz radio sky to be constructed. We report the MLS measurements of galactic radio emission and discuss their effect on the atmospheric mission of MLS. The region of the Milky Way with emissions strong enough to significantly affect MLS observations of atmospheric CO is identified. Ground-based radio astronomers have been mapping the sky using CO emission for many years. However, the MLS data are the first such survey to be carried out from space. The MLS survey covers a larger area of the sky than any other 230 GHz survey, but no previously unknown gas clouds are observed. (C) 2008 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Galaxy
  • CO
  • Radio-astronomy
  • MLS
  • Limb-sounding
  • Stratosphere


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