International Ultraviolet Explorer (Encyclopedia of Science)
Developed during the 1970s, the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) was a joint project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), formerly known as the Science and Engineering Research Council of the United Kingdom (SERC); and the European Space Agency (ESA). The IUE was built to explore astronomical objects such as stars, comets, galaxies, and supernovae that exist in the ultraviolet portion of space. The IUE was defined as an "explorer class" mission. These missions are smaller in scope and the objective is a particular task, such as the study of ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is electromagnetic radiation (radiation that transmits energy through the interaction of electricity and magnetism) of a wavelength just shorter than the violet (shortest wavelength) end of the visible light spectrum.
IUE explores ultraviolet radiation
The Earth's ozone layer blocks ultraviolet radiationhich is harmful to humansrom penetrating the atmosphere. But the blockage makes it difficult to study ultraviolet radiation from the Earth's surface. In order to better understand ultraviolet radiation, an observatory must be created and sent beyond the Earth's atmosphere where the ozone layer does not interfere with the ultraviolet radiation. The IUE was such an observatory; it observed...
(The entire section is 1072 words.)
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