3.2 Instrument Capabilities

Please check for updates on the ACS website.

ACS is a versatile instrument with a broad range of scientific capabilities: It was built with three channels, each optimized for a specific goal: 

  • deep, wide-field imaging from visible to near-IR wavelengths with the Wide Field Channel (WFC) (in service March 2002 to present). 
  • high spatial resolution imaging from near-UV to near-IR wavelengths with the High Resolution Channel (HRC) (in service March 2002 to January 2007). 
  • solar-blind UV imaging with the Solar Blind Channel (SBC) (in service March 2002 to present). 

In addition to its primary capabilities listed above, ACS also provides:

  • Grism spectroscopy: low resolution (R ~100 @ 8000 Å) wide field spectroscopy from 5500 Å to 10,500 Å with WFC (and HRC before January 2007).
  • Prism spectroscopy: low resolution (R ~100 @ 1500 Å) far-UV spectroscopy from 1250 Å to 1800 Å with SBC (and low resolution, R = 59 @ 2500 Å, near-UV spectroscopy from 1700 Å to 3900 Å with HRC before January 2007).
  • Imaging Polarimetry: polarimetric imaging with WFC (and HRC before January 2007) with relative polarization angles of 0°, 60°, and 120°.
  • Coronagraphy (before January 2007): aberrated beam coronagraphy with HRC from 2000 Å to 11,000 Å with 1.8 arcsecond and 3.0 arcsecond diameter occulting spots.