Electromagnetic radiation in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) and extra-terrestrial range at wavelengths from 10 nm to 300 nm is absorbed in the upper atmosphere by ozone, molecular and atomic oxygen, and molecular nitrogen. Observations at wavelengths down to ≈ 200 nm can be carried out from stratospheric balloons, and observations below 200 nm require space platforms operating at altitudes above 250 km. The VUV spectral region contains emission lines and continua arising from plasma at formation temperatures ranging from about 104 K to more than 107 K. This chapter describes the wide range of plasma diagnostic techniques available at VUV wavelengths, and the development of instrumentation for studies of the high-temperature solar outer atmosphere and astrophysical plasmas. Finally, the prospects for future studies are briefly discussed.
ISSI Scientific Reports Series
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