About COS

The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in May 2009. COS performs high-sensitivity, medium- and low-resolution spectroscopy of astronomical objects in the 815-3200 Å wavelength range. COS significantly enhances the spectroscopic capabilities of HST at ultraviolet wavelengths, providing observers with unparalleled opportunities for observing faint sources of ultraviolet light.

The primary science objectives of the instrument are the study of the origins of large scale structure in the Universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, the origin of stellar and planetary systems, and the cold interstellar medium.

COS spectrum of a massive star in the LMC

This COS spectrum of a massive star in the LMC encodes information about the properties of its stellar wind, the intervening interstellar and circum-galactic media, enabling a wide range of legacy studies.


General Instrument Status 

COS/FUV is operating nominally.

COS/NUV is operating nominally.

Helpful Links

COS Wavelength Tool

HST Exposure Time Calculator

COS Instrument Handbook

COS Data Handbook

COS Walkthrough Notebooks

COS2025 Policies

COS Line Spread Functions

HST Spectroscopic Legacy Archive (HSLA)

Airglow Observations


Program Information

COS Instrument Resources

Recent News

Recently Published Documents

Instrument Science Reports (ISRs)

Recently Published ISRs

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Results: 193
Showing 5 matching items
  1. ISR 2024-03 : COS Lifetime Position 6 Enabling Summary

    February 19, 2024K. Rowlands et al.
  2. ISR 2024-02: Cycle 29 COS FUV Wavelength Scale Monitor

    February 01, 2024D. French
  3. ISR 2024-01: The Hubble Advanced Spectral Product (HASP) Program

    January 16, 2024J.H. Debes et al.
  4. ISR 2023-28: Derivation of the COS FUV Dispersion Solutions at Lifetime Position 6

    December 13, 2023W.J. Fischer et al.
  5. ISR 2023-27: Cycle 29 COS NUV Spectroscopic Sensitivity Monitor

    December 08, 2023W.J. Fischer

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Newsletters (STANs)

Recently Published STANs

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Results: 32
Showing 5 matching items
  1. January 2024 STAN

    January 04, 2024
  2. January 2023 STAN

    January 04, 2023

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Last Updated: 01/31/2024


HST Help Desk 

Please contact the HST Help Desk with any questions.