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New PSI Spectroscopy Lab Assembled, Calibrated

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PSI Senior Scientist Roger Clark was in Tucson to complete the assembly and calibration of the new spectroscopy lab located in the Tucson facility’s West Wing building. The lab equipment came from Colorado, where it was donated by the U.S. Geologic Survey office in Lakewood.
The equipment, an environment chamber facility, features four different chambers that can be used to study materials at conditions on other planet surfaces. “With these chambers, we can simulate pressure and temperature conditions on planetary surfaces virtually anywhere in the Solar System, from hot Mercury to almost Pluto, and measure the light reflected from rocks, minerals and chemicals from the ultraviolet to the infrared.  We can then compare those spectral signatures to data obtained with telescopes and spacecraft to identify materials on other planets, satellites, asteroids and comets,” Clark said.
Above, Clark installs a stainless steel vacuum hose from the environment chamber to the high vacuum system. 
Below, Clark stands with the completed environment chamber, about to open a vacuum valve.  The blue instrument on the right is a vacuum-ultraviolet spectrometer—measuring light too short in wavelength to get through the Earth's atmosphere, but which can be measured on the many airless bodies in the Solar System.
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May 1, 2017
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