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Seeking celestial Positronium with an OH-suppressed diffraction-limited spectrograph

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posted on 2023-01-11, 23:04 authored by J. Gordon Robertson, Simon Ellis, Qingshan Yu, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Christopher Betters, Martin Roth, Sergio Leon-Saval
Celestially, Positronium (Ps), has only been observed through gamma-ray emission produced by its annihilation. However, in its triplet state, a Ps atom has a mean lifetime long enough for electronic transitions to occur between quantum states. This produces a recombination spectrum observable in principle at near IR wavelengths, where angular resolution greatly exceeding that of the gamma-ray observations is possible. However, the background in the NIR is dominated by extremely bright atmospheric hydroxyl (OH) emission lines. In this paper we present the design of a diffraction-limited spectroscopic system using novel photonic components - a photonic lantern, OH Fiber Bragg Grating filters, and a photonic TIGER 2-dimensional pseudo-slit - to observe the Ps Balmer alpha line at 1.3122 microns for the first time.



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