|STIS Instrument Handbook for Cycle 24|
STIS uses two-dimensional detectors operating from the ultraviolet (UV) to the near-infrared (NIR). First-order gratings cover the full spectral range and are designed for spatially resolved spectroscopy using a long slit. The echelle gratings, available only in the UV are designed to maximize the spectral coverage in single observations of point sources. The STIS Flight Software supports onboard target acquisitions and peakups to place targets on slits. The STIS optics and detectors have been designed to exploit HST’s high spatial resolution.
• Echelle spectroscopy at medium to high spectral resolution (R ~ 30,000–114,0001), covering a broad simultaneous spectral range (Δλ ~ 800 or 200 ┼, respectively) in the UV(1150–3100 ┼).
• Imaging capability using the solar-blind FUV-MAMA detector (1150–1700 ┼), the solar-insensitive NUV-MAMA detector (1150–3100 ┼), and the optical CCD (2000–10,300 ┼), through a small complement of narrow-band and broad-band filters.
• High-time-resolution (Δτ = 125 microseconds) imaging and spectroscopy in the UV (1150–3100 ┼) and moderate-time-resolution (Δτ ~20 şseconds) CCD imaging and spectroscopy in the NUV, optical, and NIR (2000–10,300 ┼).
• STIS is a versatile instrument that can be applied to a broad range of scientific programs. Studies of the dynamics of galactic nuclei and the kinematics of active galaxies and diffuse galactic nebulae benefit from the ability to obtain spatially resolved spectroscopy over a 50-arcsecond long slit and from the high quantum efficiency in the optical provided by the CCD. The wide wavelength coverage of STIS facilitates line-ratio studies; for instance, the low-resolution first-order gratings span the range 1150–10,300 ┼ in just four exposures. Slitless spectroscopy provides emission line images of astronomical objects, and coronagraphic imaging and spectroscopy can reveal the nature of extended gaseous regions surrounding bright continuum sources.