WUPPEWisconsin Ultraviolet Photopolarimeter Experiment (space)
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Using ultraviolet radiation from the supergiant star Alpha Camelopardalis like a flashlight from afar, WUPPE researchers found that certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light that pass through interstellar dust have little or no polarization -- a strong indication that the dust absorbs light rather than scatters the radiation, says Arthur D.
If the interstellar dust could not absorb enough heat, the increase in temperature would halt the collapse before new stars formed, says Code, leader of the WUPPE team.
The WUPPE observations support Stecher's 1965 suggestion that interstellar dust contains graphite -- a compound that absorbs ultraviolet light and could act as a cosmic coolant.