Complete the All-sky UV Survey Extension

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) has begun a privately funded mission extension phase. A significant fraction of the Galactic Plane has not yet been surveyed, but is now accessible with the removal of all bright star limits. Our highest priority goal is to Complete the All-Sky UV Survey and pursue Milky Way science related to pre- and post-main-sequence stellar evolution, the cycling of matter between stars and the ISM, characterization of stellar variability, and a search for new classes of exoplanets. Other high priority science includes exploring the transient UV sky, searching for shock breakout supernova events, discovering tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes, and surveying the low mass universe.

We are now soliciting funding for continued operations from interested scientific or philanthropic institutions or individuals to pursue these or other novel and high-priority observations. All contributions are tax-deductable. We have been observing successfully in this fashion for the last four months in collaboration with several scientific consortia, individuals, and private support (see Caltech News Feature).

For reference, a month of operations costs approximately $120K. Roughly 300 single-orbit night-time pointings covering 300 square degrees with an average exposure time of 1400 seconds can be scheduled each month. Alternatively, up to 300 large angle scans could cover as much 4000 square degrees in a month. Cadenced observations are also possible exploring timescales from less than one second to months. Funding supports a skeleton operations team and no additional science analysis. Standard pipeline products are produced for all observations, which can be proprietary for up to one year.

We recognize at least three modes for interested astronomers to participate in this new venture:

  1. Astronomers, private individuals, and philanthropic foundations who recognize the importance of completing the All-Sky Survey in the GALEX Near UV band and its legacy value to future astronomy may contribute at any level.
  2. Astronomers wanting to form a consortium to perform a high-priority science investigation that interests a broader community may contact the GALEX project stating their desire to form a collaboration. The GALEX team will work with you to assemble consortia of groups and institutions with common observational goals.
  3. Large survey projects that would benefit from GALEX Near UV imaging and/or grism spectroscopy observations can propose to contribute for one or more months of observations (a single month or spread over a number of calendar months).
Please contact Christopher Martin ( or 626-826-7866) if you are interested in participating in any way.

Time is of the essence, as once funding is exhausted the satellite will be shut off forever. Please join us in our quest to complete high priority observations that will benefit future astronomers for decades.

Last updated on September 11, 2012