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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #5150

Status Report From: Space Telescope Science Institute
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010


HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DAILY REPORT #5150

Continuing to Collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am July 30 - 5am August 2, 2010 (DOY 211/09:00z-214/09:00z)

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be investigated.)

HSTARS:

12344 - At 213/18:01:57z a COS Dump Timeout Error was received. The timeout error occurred during the instrument dump to the SSR. This error is received when the timeout alarm at the end of an instrument dump has expired, meaning the dump did not complete in the expected amount of time.

Observation possibly affected COS 212, proposal ID# 12086

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)


SCHEDULED SUCCESSFUL
FGS GSAcq 15 15
FGS REAcq 31 31
OBAD with Maneuver 13 13


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED:

COS/NUV/FUV 12086

Generation of 1-D Fixed Pattern Templates

Tests have shown that application of a 1-D fixed pattern template to a COS spectrum can reduce the fixed pattern noise in G130M or G160M spectra to an equivalent S/N of about 30/1. For this to be occur, the template must be derived from data for the same grating and nearly the same central wavelength as the observation. This is because each grating has a different cross dispersion profile, and different central wavelengths fall at different cross dispersion detector locations. As a result, spectra obtained at each grating and central wavelength setting are derived from different regions of the detectors -- each with their own, unique detector features and grid wire shadows.

S/C 12046

COS FUV DCE Memory Dump

Whenever the FUV detector high voltage is on, count rate and current draw information is collected, monitored, and saved to DCE memory. Every 10 msec the detector samples the currents from the HV power supplies (HVIA, HVIB) and the AUX power supply (AUXI). The last 1000 samples are saved in memory, along with a histogram of the number of occurrences of each current value.

In the case of a HV transient (known as a "crackle" on FUSE), where one of these currents exceeds a preset threshold for a persistence time, the HV will shut down, and the DCE memory will be dumped and examined as part of the recovery procedure. However, if the current exceeds the threshold for less than the persistence time (a "mini-crackle" in FUSE parlance), there is no way to know without dumping DCE memory. By dumping and examining the histograms regularly, we will be able to monitor any changes in the rate of "mini-crackles" and thus learn something about the state of the detector.

WFC3/UVIS 12018

Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources in the Most Metal-Poor Galaxies

There is growing observational and theoretical evidence to suggest that Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources (ULX) form preferentially in low metallicity environments. Here we propose a survey of 27 nearby (< 30Mpc) star-forming Extremely Metal Poor Galaxies (Z<5% solar). There are almost no X-ray observations of such low abundance galaxies (3 in the Chandra archive). These are the most metal-deficient galaxies known, and a logical place to find ULX if they favor metal-poor systems. We plan to test recent population synthesis models which predict that ULX should be very numerous in metal-poor galaxies. We will also test the hypothesis that ULX form in massive young star clusters, and ask for HST time to obtain the necessary imaging data.

ACS/WFC 11996

CCD Daily Monitor (Part 3)

This program comprises basic tests for measuring the read noise and dark current of the ACS WFC and for tracking the growth of hot pixels. The recorded frames are used to create bias and dark reference images for science data reduction and calibration. This program will be executed four days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) for the duration of Cycle 17. To facilitate scheduling, this program is split into three proposals. This proposal covers 308 orbits (19.25 weeks) from 21 June 2010 to 1 November 2010.

WFC3/IR/S/C 11929

IR Dark Current Monitor

Analyses of ground test data showed that dark current signals are more reliably removed from science data using darks taken with the same exposure sequences as the science data, than with a single dark current image scaled by desired exposure time. Therefore, dark current images must be collected using all sample sequences that will be used in science observations. These observations will be used to monitor changes in the dark current of the WFC3-IR channel on a day-to-day basis, and to build calibration dark current ramps for each of the sample sequences to be used by Gos in Cycle 17. For each sample sequence/array size combination, a median ramp will be created and delivered to the calibration database system (CDBS).

WFC3/UVIS 11924

WFC3/UVIS External and Internal CTE Monitor

CCD detector Charge Transfer Inefficiency (CTI)-induced losses in photometry and astrometry will be measured using observations of the rich open cluster NGC6791 and with the EPER (Extended Pixel Edge Response) method using tungsten lamp flat field exposures. Although we do not expect to see CTE effects at the outset of Cycle 17, this CTE monitoring program is the first of a multi-cycle program to monitor and establish CTE-induced losses with time. We expect to measure CTE effects with a precision comparable to the ACS measurements.

WFC3/IR 11915

IR Internal Flat Fields

This program is the same as 11433 (SMOV) and depends on the completion of the IR initial alignment (Program 11425). This version contains three instances of 37 internal orbits: to be scheduled early, middle, and near the end of Cycle 17, in order to use the entire 110-orbit allocation.

In this test, we will study the stability and structure of the IR channel flat field images through all filter elements in the WFC3-IR channel. Flats will be monitored, i.e. to capture any temporal trends in the flat fields and delta flats produced. High signal observations will provide a map of the pixel-to-pixel flat field structure, as well as identify the positions of any dust particles.

WFC3/UVIS 11908

Cycle 17: UVIS Bowtie Monitor

Ground testing revealed an intermittent hysteresis type effect in the UVIS detector (both CCDs) at the level of ~1%, lasting hours to days. Initially found via an unexpected bowtie-shaped feature in flatfield ratios, subsequent lab tests on similar e2v devices have since shown that it is also present as simply an overall offset across the entire CCD, i.e., a QE offset without any discernable pattern. These lab tests have further revealed that overexposing the detector to count levels several times full well fills the traps and effectively neutralizes the bowtie. Each visit in this proposal acquires a set of three 3x3 binned internal flatfields: the first unsaturated image will be used to detect any bowtie, the second, highly exposed image will neutralize the bowtie if it is present, and the final image will allow for verification that the bowtie is gone.

WFC3/UVIS 11905

WFC3 UVIS CCD Daily Monitor

The behavior of the WFC3 UVIS CCD will be monitored daily with a set of full-frame, four-amp bias and dark frames. A smaller set of 2Kx4K subarray biases are acquired at less frequent intervals throughout the cycle to support subarray science observations. The internals from this proposal, along with those from the anneal procedure (Proposal 11909), will be used to generate the necessary superbias and superdark reference files for the calibration pipeline (CDBS).

WFC3/UV 11904

UVIS Droplets

To characterize the effects of the contamination (i.e., droplets) on the UVIS window, we will observe a star cluster in three wide band filters (F225W, F555W, and F814W) as well as a narrow band filter (F502N) and step the stars in the cluster across randomly located droplets. The step size is 20 pixels, and we execute a five point line dither for each filter. This should provide for observations both on and off the droplets, for the same star. Internal flat fields are also obtained, but, due to the high f/# of the internal calibration system, the flats will be of limited utility, but will serve to map and crudely track any changes in the droplets. The cluster needs to contain both hot and cool stars, and therefore we select NGC 6752, a nearby globular with a hot horizontal branch. Note, although the total population of HB stars may be larger in systems such as NGC 2419, NGC 6715, and NGC 2808, those clusters are much further away and will not provide a high density of stars over the global image (the droplets are located over the entire frame). There will be three visits (initial, 7 days later, and 30 days later), with each visit requiring 4 orbits. The total program thus requires 12 orbits total.

COS/FUV 11897

FUV Spectroscopic Sensitivity Monitoring

The purpose of this proposal is to monitor sensitivity in each FUV grating mode to detect any changes due to contamination or other causes.

WFC3/ACS 11888

ACS Internal Flat Fields

The stability of the CCD flat fields will be monitored using the calibration lamps and a sub-sample of the filter set. High signal observations will be used to assess the stability of the pixel-to-pixel flat field structure and to monitor the position of the dust motes.

STIS/CC 11847

CCD Bias Monitor-Part 2

Monitor the bias in the 1x1, 1x2, 2x1, and 2x2 bin settings at gain=1, and 1x1 at gain = 4, to build up high-S/N superbiases and track the evolution of hot columns.

STIS/CC 11845

CCD Dark Monitor Part 2

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

COS/NUV/FUV 11741

Probing Warm-Hot Intergalactic Gas at 0.5 < z < 1.3 with a Blind Survey for O VI, Ne VIII, Mg X, and Si XII Absorption Systems

Currently we can only account for half of the baryons (or less) expected to be found in the nearby universe based on D/H and CMB observations. This "missing baryons problem" is one of the highest-priority challenges in observational extragalatic astronomy. Cosmological simulations suggest that the baryons are hidden in low-density, shock-heated intergalactic gas in the log T = 5 - 7 range, but intensive UV and X-ray surveys using O VI, O VII, and O VIII absorption lines have not yet confirmed this prediction. We propose to use COS to carry out a sensitive survey for Ne VIII and Mg X absorption in the spectra of nine QSOs at z(QSO) > 0.89. For the three highest-redshift QSOs, we will also search for Si XII. This survey will provide more robust constraints on the quantity of baryons in warm-hot intergalactic gas at 0.5 < z < 1.3, and the data will provide rich constraints on the metal enrichment, physical conditions, and nature of a wide variety of QSO absorbers in addition to the warm-hot systems. By comparing the results to other surveys at lower redshifts (with STIS, FUSE, and from the COS GTO programs), the project will also enable the first study of how these absorbers evolve with redshift at z < 1. By combining the program with follow-up galaxy redshift surveys, we will also push the study of galaxy-absorber relationships to higher redshifts, with an emphasis on the distribution of the WHIM with respect to the large-scale matter distribution of the universe.

WFC3/UV/IR 11709

Stretching the Diversity of Cosmic Explosions: The Supernovae of Gamma-ray Bursts

While the association between gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and massive stars is robust, there is a large diversity of properties among supernovae (SNe) associated with GRBs. The converse is also true: Several recent events show that there is a large brightness range among high energy transients associated with SNe. As part of a comprehensive program, we propose to use HST in order to search for and characterize the SNe associated with GRB.

HST offers the means to cleanly separate the light curve of the GRB afterglow from the supernova, and to remove the contamination from the host galaxy, opening a clear path to the fundamental parameters of the SN, and thence to the progenitor. From these observations, we will determine the absolute magnitude at maximum, the shape of the spectral energy distribution, and any change over time of the energy distribution. We will also measure the rate of decay of the exponential tail.

Merged with the ground-based data that we will obtain for each event, we will be able to compare our data set to models and constrain the energy of the explosion, the mass of the ejecta and the mass of Nickel synthesized during the explosion. These results will shed light on the apparent variety of supernovae associated with gamma-ray bursts and X-ray flashes, and on the relation between these SNe and other, more common, types of core-collapse explosions.

WFC3/UVIS/IR 11700

Bright Galaxies at z>7.5 with a WFC3 Pure Parallel Survey

The epoch of reionization represents a special moment in the history of the Universe as it is during this era that the first galaxies and star clusters are formed. Reionization also profoundly affects the environment where subsequent generations of galaxies evolve. Our overarching goal is to test the hypothesis that galaxies are responsible for reionizing neutral hydrogen. To do so we propose to carry out a pure parallel WFC3 survey to constrain the bright end of the redshift z>7.5 galaxy luminosity function on a total area of 176 arcmin^2 of sky. Extrapolating the evolution of the luminosity function from z~6, we expect to detect about 20 Lyman Break Galaxies brighter than M_* at z~8 significantly improving the current sample of only a few galaxies known at these redshifts. Finding significantly fewer objects than predicted on the basis of extrapolation from z=6 would set strong limits to the brightness of M_*, highlighting a fast evolution of the luminosity function with the possible implication that galaxies alone cannot reionize the Universe. Our observations will find the best candidates for spectroscopic confirmation, that is bright z>7.5 objects, which would be missed by small area deeper surveys. The random pointing nature of the program is ideal to beat cosmic variance, especially severe for luminous massive galaxies, which are strongly clustered. In fact our survey geometry of 38 independent fields will constrain the luminosity function like a contiguous single field survey with two times more area at the same depth. Lyman Break Galaxies at z>7.5 down to m_AB=26.85 (5 sigma) in F125W will be selected as F098M dropouts, using three to five orbits visits that include a total of four filters (F606W, F098M, F125W, F160W) optimized to remove low-redshift interlopers and cool stars. Our data will be highly complementary to a deep field search for high- z galaxies aimed at probing the faint end of the luminosity function, allowing us to disentangle the degeneracy between faint end slope and M_* in a Schechter function fit of the luminosity function. We waive proprietary rights for the data. In addition, we commit to release the coordinates and properties of our z>7.5 candidates within one month from the acquisition of each field.

WFC3/IR 11696

Infrared Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time

We propose to use the unique power of WFC3 slitless spectroscopy to measure the evolution of cosmic star formation from the end of the reionization epoch at z>6 to the close of the galaxy- building era at z~0.3.Pure parallel observations with the grisms have proven to be efficient for identifying line emission from galaxies across a broad range of redshifts. The G102 grism on WFC3 was designed to extend this capability to search for Ly-alpha emission from the first galaxies. Using up to 250 orbits of pure parallel WFC3 spectroscopy, we will observe about 40 deep (4-5 orbit) fields with the combination of G102 and G141, and about 20 shallow (2-3 orbit) fields with G141 alone.

Our primary science goals at the highest redshifts are: (1) Detect Lya in ~100 galaxies with z>5.6 and measure the evolution of the Lya luminosity function, independent of of cosmic variance; 2) Determine the connection between emission line selected and continuum-break selected galaxies at these high redshifts, and 3) Search for the proposed signature of neutral hydrogen absorption at re-ionization. At intermediate redshifts we will (4) Detect more than 1000 galaxies in Halpha at 0.5
To identify single-line Lya emitters, we will exploit the wide 0.8--1.9um wavelength coverage of the combined G102+G141 spectra. All [OII] and [OIII] interlopers detected in G102 will be reliably separated from true LAEs by the detection of at least one strong line in the G141 spectrum, without the need for any ancillary data. We waive all proprietary rights to our data and will make high-level data products available through the ST/ECF.

COS/NUV/FUV/STIS/CCD/ 11692 MA1 The LMC as a QSO Absorption Line System

We propose to obtain high resolution, high signal-to-noise observations of QSOs behind the Large Magellanic Clouds. These QSOs are situated beyond the star forming disk of the galaxy, giving us the opportunity to study the distribution of metals and energy in regions lacking significant star formation. In particular, we will derive the metallicities and study the ionization characteristics of LMC gas at impact parameters 3-17 kpc. We will compare our results with high-z QSO absorption line systems.

ACS/WFC/WFC3/UV/IR 11691

Using Massive Star Clusters in Merger Remnants To Provide Reference Colors of Intermediate- Age Stellar Populations

Much current research in cosmology and galaxy formation relies on an accurate interpretation of colors of galaxies in terms of their evolutionary state, i.e., in terms of ages and metallicities. One particularly important topic is the ability to identify early-type galaxies at "intermediate" ages (~ 500 Myr - 5 Gyr), i.e., the period between the end of star formation and ~ half the age of the universe. Currently, integrated-light studies must rely on population synthesis models which rest upon spectral libraries of stars in the solar neighborhood. These models have a difficult time correctly incorporating short-lived evolutionary phases such as thermally pulsing AGB stars, which produce up to 80% of the flux in the near-IR in this age range. Furthermore, intermediate-age star clusters in the Local Group do not represent proper templates against which to calibrate population synthesis models in this age range, because their masses are too low to render the effect of stochastic fluctuations due to the number of bright RGB and AGB stars negligible. As a consequence, current population synthesis models have trouble reconciling the evolutionary state of high-redshift galaxies from optical versus near-IR colors. We propose a simple and effective solution to this issue, namely obtaining high-quality EMPIRICAL colors of massive globular clusters in galaxy merger remnants which span this important age range. These colors should serve as relevant references, both to identify intermediate-age objects in the local and distant universe and as calibrators for population synthesis modellers.

WFC3/UVIS 11675

Stellar Forensics: A Post-Explosion View of the Progenitors of Core-Collapse Supernovae

Recent studies have used high spatial resolution HST observations of SN sites to identify the progenitors of core-collapse SNe on pre-explosion images. These studies have set constraints about the nature of massive stars and their evolution just prior to their explosion as SNe. Now, at late-times when the SNe have faded sufficiently, it is possible to return to the sites of these core-collapse SNe to search for clues about the nature of their progenitors. We request time to conduct deep, late-time, high-resolution imaging with ACS/HRC of the sites of six core-collapse SNe. In this program we aim to: 1) confirm our identifications, that were made with HST pre- explosion images, of the red supergiant progenitors of four Type IIP SNe (1999ev, 2003gd, 2004A and 2005cs), by observing if the objects identified as the progenitors are now missing; 2) place precise constraints on the progenitor of the Type Ic SN 2007gr by studying its host cluster; and 3) confirm our identification of an LBV-like outburst of an unstable WR star as belonging to the progenitor of a Type Ib-n core-collapse SN (2006jc), using broad and narrow- band imaging to search for emission line stars in its locality. The deep imaging will also allow to probe the stellar populations in the immediate vicinities of these SNe, that were previously obscured by the progenitors and the bright SNe. HST provides the unique combination of high- resolution optical imaging at very faint magnitudes that will facilitate this study.

COS/NUV/FUV 11598

How Galaxies Acquire their Gas: A Map of Multiphase Accretion and Feedback in Gaseous Galaxy Halos

We propose to address two of the biggest open questions in galaxy formation - how galaxies acquire their gas and how they return it to the IGM - with a concentrated COS survey of diffuse multiphase gas in the halos of SDSS galaxies at z = 0.15 - 0.35. Our chief science goal is to establish a basic set of observational facts about the physical state, metallicity, and kinematics of halo gas, including the sky covering fraction of hot and cold material, the metallicity of infall and outflow, and correlations with galaxy stellar mass, type, and color - all as a function of impact parameter from 10 - 150 kpc. Theory suggests that the bimodality of galaxy colors, the shape of the luminosity function, and the mass-metallicity relation are all influenced at a fundamental level by accretion and feedback, yet these gas processes are poorly understood and cannot be predicted robustly from first principles. We lack even a basic observational assessment of the multiphase gaseous content of galaxy halos on 100 kpc scales, and we do not know how these processes vary with galaxy properties. This ignorance is presently one of the key impediments to understanding galaxy formation in general. We propose to use the high-resolution gratings G130M and G160M on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to obtain sensitive column density measurements of a comprehensive suite of multiphase ions in the spectra of 43 z < 1 QSOs lying behind 43 galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In aggregate, these sightlines will constitute a statistically sound map of the physical state and metallicity of gaseous halos, and subsets of the data with cuts on galaxy mass, color, and SFR will seek out predicted variations of gas properties with galaxy properties. Our interpretation of these data will be aided by state-of-the-art hydrodynamic simulations of accretion and feedback, in turn providing information to refine and test such models. We will also use Keck, MMT, and Magellan (as needed) to obtain optical spectra of the QSOs to measure cold gas with Mg II, and optical spectra of the galaxies to measure SFRs and to look for outflows. In addition to our other science goals, these observations will help place the Milky Way's population of multiphase, accreting High Velocity Clouds (HVCs) into a global context by identifying analogous structures around other galaxies. Our program is designed to make optimal use of the unique capabilities of COS to address our science goals and also generate a rich dataset of other absorption-line systems.

WFC3/UVIS 11588

Galaxy-Scale Strong Lenses from the CFHTLS Survey

We aim to investigate the origin and evolution of early-type galaxies using gravitational lensing, modeling the mass profiles of objects over a wide range of redshifts. The low redshift (z = 0.2) sample is already in place following the successful HST SLACS survey; we now propose to build up and analyze a sample of comparable size (~50 systems) at high redshift (0.4 < z < 0.9) using HST WFC3 Snapshot observations of lens systems identified by the SL2S collaboration in the CFHT legacy survey.

NIC2/WFC3/IR 11548

Infrared Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation

We propose NICMOS and WFC3/IR observations of a sample of 252 protostars identified in the Orion A cloud with the Spitzer Space Telescope. These observations will image the scattered light escaping the protostellar envelopes, providing information on the shapes of outflow cavities, the inclinations of the protostars, and the overall morphologies of the envelopes. In addition, we ask for Spitzer time to obtain 55-95 micron spectra of 75 of the protostars. Combining these new data with existing 3.6 to 70 micron photometry and forthcoming 5-40 micron spectra measured with the Spitzer Space Telescope, we will determine the physical properties of the protostars such as envelope density, luminosity, infall rate, and outflow cavity opening angle. By examining how these properties vary with stellar density (i.e. clusters vs. groups vs. isolation) and the properties of the surrounding molecular cloud; we can directly measure how the surrounding environment influences protostellar evolution, and consequently, the formation of stars and planetary systems. Ultimately, this data will guide the development of a theory of protostellar evolution.

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