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Proposed Facility

Clearly, the burning need is for more data on this thrilling topic. Mid-UV spectra of faint QSOs are the way to go, and this means a space mission. Some sort of space telescope: a successor to the HST, with good spectrographs that work in the UV is what you want. With such an instrument you could investigate when and how the intergalactic gas became so hot, how it is distributed, and what it is made of. With good coverage far into the UV, you could trace how this gas changes as the universe evolves.

Other useful facilities would include smaller telescopes for finding lots of nice high-redshift QSOs for you to study.

You will have to be careful: unless you can get funding for a big space mission, your budget will probably be cut by Congress. Some of the other people at this meeting will try and argue for other space missions or (horror of horrors) ground-based telescopes. Fight them - your jobs are on the line! You must try and persuade other groups that a UV spectroscopic satellite will be useful for them too: without their support you could be in serious trouble. Bear in mind that this telescope could have other instruments on as well: perhaps optical imaging cameras and spectrographs. This might be the bait that lures the other astronomers into helping you!

Paul Francis
Sun Aug 30 11:56:56 EST 1998