FIREBall-2: upcoming UV observations of the circumgalactic medium
Erika Hamden, California Institute of Technology
The Faint Intergalactic Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2) is a joint NASA/CNES collaboration that is preparing to launch in mid-summer 2017. FIREBall-2 is a balloon-born UV multi-object spectrograph designed to detect faint emission from the circumgalactic medium (CGM) around low-z galaxies. FIREBall-2 will flight test several technology innovations for use on future space missions. I will discuss the science goals we hope to achieve, the final flight design, results from integration and testing in Marseille earlier in 2016, and the ongoing final preparations for flight. I will also describe briefly the process and rational behind using high-altitude balloons for astronomical observations.