STScI Logo

Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3 At a Glance

This page gives a high-level overview of WFC3's characteristics. Click on a given plot or figure to enlarge. For more detailed descriptions of WFC3's components and behaviors, see the WFC3 Handbook. Another good source of high level information is the WFC3 Summary brochure.

Two Channels

Observations with WFC3 can make use of the UVIS or IR Channels. A channel select mechanism directs incoming light to the desired channel. The light path within WFC3 for both channels. The IR light path is drawn in red, and the UVIS light path is drawn in pink.

WFC3 detectors are capable of observing at all wavelengths between 200 - 1700nm. The QE curves for the UVIS and IR detectors are shown below. These curves do not include the effects of HST's OTA, nor WFC3's optics and filters.

Detector characteristics

See the Detectors page for more information.

IR Channel

UVIS Channel


WFC3's complement of filters cover the entire useful wavelength range dictated by the detectors. Individual plots of filter throughputs are available in the WFC3 Handbook. More information about WFC3 filters can be found on the WFC3 filter page.

The plots below show the total system throughput for all of WFC3's filters.

IR Filters




UVIS Filters

Long Pass