Status Report

Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #2786 15 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 15, 2001
Filed under ,



PERIOD COVERED: 0000Z (UTC) 01/12/01 – 0000Z (UTC) 01/15/01

Daily Status Report as of 015/0000Z


1.1 Completed Three Sets of WF/PC-2 8599 (A Census of Nuclear Star
Clusters in Late-Type Spiral Galaxies)

The WF/PC-2 was used to conduct an I-band snapshot survey of a
well-defined sample of nearby, face-on spiral galaxies of type Scd or
later. The proposal completed nominally.

1.2 Completed Five Sets of STIS/CCD 8837 (CCD Dark Monitor-Part 1)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to monitor
the darks. The proposal completed with no reported problems.

1.3 Completed WF/PC-2/STIS/CCD 8568 (A Seminal Spectroscopic and
Imagery Investigation of the Brightest Wolf-Rayet Shell Nebula: NGC 6888)

The WF/PC-2 (for imagery) and the Space Telescope Imaging
Spectrograph (CCD for UV-optical-NIR spectroscopy of several regions in the
brightest Wolf-Rayet Shell) were used to observe Nebula {WRSN}, NGC
6888. The physical conditions in the wind-driven and/or stellar ejected
plasma {temperature, density, ionization, and composition} of WRSN, which
are dominated by strong stellar winds from hot massive stars in an advanced
state of evolution, often involve emission from both shock-ionized and
photoionized gas in close proximity. These new observations will comprise
the first combined spectroscopy and imagery of a WRSN at a resolution
sufficient to separate and individually analyze these two emission
regions. The proposal completed nominally with no reported problems.

1.4 Completed STIS/CCD 8692 (Search for an Optical Counterpart to the
Central X-ray Point Source in Cas A)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to continue
first-light Chandra X-ray Observatory images that have uncovered a central
point-like source in Cas A, the Galaxy’s youngest known supernova remnant
{SN 1680}. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.5 Completed Five Sets of WF/PC-2 8805 (POMS Test Proposal: WFII
Parallel Archive Proposal Continuation)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform a generic target version of the
WFPC2 Archival Pure Parallel program. The program will be used to take
parallel images of random areas of the sky, following the recommendations
of the Parallels Working Group. The proposal completed with no reported

1.6 Completed Three Sets of STIS/CCD 8838 (Bias Monitor – Part 1)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to monitor
the bias in the 1×1, 1×2, 2×1, and 2×2 bin settings at gain=1, and 1×1 at
gain = 4, to build up high-S/N superbiases and track the evolution of hot
columns. The proposal completed nominally.

1.7 Completed STIS/CCD 8881 (An Unbiased Survey of X-Ray and Optical
Emission From Extended Radio Jets in AGN)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to an X-ray
bright jet in the distant quasar 1150+497 that shows that X-rays can be
energetically dominant in relativistic jets. The observations completed

1.8 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1 8582 (UV Detectability of Bright Quasars in
the Sloan Fields)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA1) was used to
examine the He II Ly alpha absorption at 304{1+z} Angstrom which is a far
more sensitive tracer of the intergalactic medium {IGM} than its H I
counterpart. The recent detections of such absorption in four quasars,
albeit with limited data quality and a small sample size, demonstrate the
great potential of such a probe. There were no reported problems.

1.9 Completed STIS/CCD/MA2 8673 (The Properties of Ly-Alpha Absorbers
at Redshifts Between 0.9HST)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA2) was used
obtain new Echelle resolution spectra of three bright quasars which, when
combined with archived and scheduled observations, will be used to
characterize the properties of Ly-Alpha absorbers in the redshift range

1.10 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 8816 (Cycle 9 UV Earthflats)

The WF/PC-2 was used to obtain sequences of Earth streak flats to
improve the quality of pipeline flat fields for the WFPC2 UV filter set and
in order to monitor flat field stability. There were no reported problems.

1.11 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 8827 (Cycle 9 Supplemental Darks pt2/3)

The WF/PC-2 was used to obtain three dark frames every day to
provide data for monitoring and characterizing the evolution of hot
pixels. The proposal completed nominally.

1.12 Completed WF/PC-2 8829 (Observatory Focus Monitor)

The WF/PC-2 was used to analyze the HST focus which drifts slowly
and shows evidence of undergoing slips of a few microns at random
times. The rate of the WFPC2 monitoring program is insufficient to track
and/or understand OTA behavior in order to request timely and appropriate
secondary mirror corrections. This 14-orbit program obtains a large amount
of high signal to noise focus data, sometimes in two Science Instruments at
once, and will be sufficient to more accurately define the HST
focus. There were no reported problems.

1.13 Completed Three Sets of STIS/CCD 8841 (Hot Pixel Annealing C9)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to improve
the effectiveness of the CCD hot pixel annealing process. This is assessed
by measuring the dark current behavior before and after annealing and by
searching for any window contamination effects. In addition CTE
performance is examined by looking for traps in a low signal level
flat. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.14 Completed STIS/CCD 8607 (Completing the Local AGN Inventory: The
AGN Content of Composite Nuclei)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to increase
the knowledge of the local space density of AGNs which is of fundamental
importance to a number of astrophysical problems. A significant fraction
of nearby galaxies have nuclei whose spectra are intermediate between those
of LINERs and nuclear starbursts. These “transition objects” may be
composite systems that contain both a central AGN and circumnuclear star
formation. We will test this hypothesis by obtaining spatially-resolved
optical spectra of a well-defined sample of 15 nearby transition nuclei
selected from the extensive ground-based survey of Ho, Filippenko, and
Sargent. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.15 Completed WF/PC-2 8601 (A Snapshot Survey of Probable Nearby Galaxies)

The WF/PC-2 was used to continue the very successful snapshot
survey in order to use the high spatial resolution of HST to determine
whether selected galaxies are nearby on the basis of resolution into stars,
and the magnitudes and colors of the brightest stars. There were no
reported problems.

1.16 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 8581 (A Search For Low-Mass
Companions To Ultracool Dwarfs)

The WF/PC-2 was used to search for very low-mass {VLM} companions
to a complete sample of 120 late-M and L dwarfs, drawn mainly from the
2MASS and SDSS surveys. The primary goal is to determine the multiplicity
of M < 0.1 M_odot dwarfs. In particular, we aim to identify binary systems suitable for long-term astrometric monitoring and mass measurement, and systems with cool, sub-1000K companions. The proposal completed with no reported problems.

1.17 Completed WF/PC-2 8686 (LINERs in Early-type Galaxies: Ionized by
the UV-upturn Population?)

The WF/PC-2 was used to investigate the presence of extended
ionized gas with LINER spectra in a large fraction {60-70%} of early-type
galaxies. The observations completed with no reported anomalies.

1.18 Completed STIS/CCD 8562 (Probing the Large Scale Structure: Cosmic
Shear Observations)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to probe
the distortion of light bundles from distant galaxies, looking at the
statistical properties of the intervening inhomogeneous {dark} matter
distribution. The proposal completed nominally.

1.19 Completed STIS/CCD 8260 (Searching for the Hydrogen Reionization
Edge of the Universe at 5HST)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to observe
one of 36 parallel orbits {4–5 fields of 5–8 orbits each} to constrain
the H Lyman-edge in emission that marks the transition from a neutral to a
fully ionized IGM at a predicted zion~eq5–15. This edge is due to
recombination from the H Lyman series and Lyman continuum, and can be used
to constrain zion, one of the most important unknown quantities in large
scale structure and cosmology. The proposal completed nominally.

1.20 Completed STIS/MA1 8657 (Jovian Auroral Variability Due to the
Solar Wind/Magnetosphere Interaction)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA1) was used to observe
Jupiter, covering nearly complete Jupiter rotations, permitting the
observers to perform several known key measurements of the auroral
emissions, and also to study uniquely the effects of solar wind variations
on the auroral morphology. The proposal completed nominally.

1.21 Completed WF/PC-2 8600 (Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy Snapshot Survey III)

The WF/PC-2 was used to extend our V and I snapshot survey of
nearby dwarf elliptical {dE} galaxies to include a sample of 30 bright dE
with significant globular cluster {GC} populations. There were no reported

1.22 Completed WF/PC-2 8720 (Masses and Multiplicity of Nearby Free-
floating Methane and L Dwarfs)

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe 50 very-low-mass objects in the
solar neighborhood with spectral types of L0 and later {including several
dwarfs with Methane absorption bands in their atmospheres}. These objects
will be observed in two filter bands with the aim to identify close
companions, measure their colors, and to obtain first epoch data of the
newly discovered binaries. The observations completed nominally.

1.23 Completed WF/PC-2 8781 (NGC 2363 V1: A Rare Case Of Major LBV

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe NGC 2363 which in January 1966,
revealed the presence of a new bright, blue star. It has been shown that
this star is a Luminous Blue variable {LBV} undergoing a major
outburst. The observation completed nominally, with no reported problems.

1.24 Completed WF/PC-2 8598 (Snapshot Survey of Extended OIIl Lambda
5007Angstrom Emission in Seyfert Galaxies)

The WF/PC-2 was used for a snapshot survey of narrow band OIII
Lambda 5007Angstrom images for a well defined sample of 88 Seyfert galaxies
{29 Seyfert 1s and 59 Seyfert 2s}, 18 of which already have data in the
archive, selected from a mostly isotropic property, the 60Mum flux. These
data will be used: 1} to determine the origin of the misalignment between
the accretion disk axis and the host galaxy plane axis, which can be due to
mergers with other galaxies, or by the self induced radiation warping; 2}
to compare the size and shape of the Narrow Line Regions (NLR) of Seyfert
1s and Seyfert 2s, and to study the frequency of conically shaped NLR in
Seyfert galaxies, which are usually unresolved from ground-based
observations; and 3} estimate the importance of shocks to the ionization of
the NLR. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.25 Completed Three Sets of WF/PC-2 8682 (A Snapshot Study of
0bservational Cosmology)

The WF/PC-2 was used to examine the observational constraints on
the cosmic star formation history that is currently among the most active
fields in observational cosmology. The most widely used tracer of the
co-moving volume-averaged star formation rate {SFR} is the UV luminosity
density, which early results found to peak at z~1- 2. The apparent
identification of the primary epoch of metal production and star formation
in the Universe led to intense theoretical and observational
interest. Nevertheless, and remarkably for such a fundamental observation,
little is known about the history of star formation in the Universe beyond
its global average. There were no reported anomalies.

1.26 Completed FGS 8731 (A High Angular Resolution Survey of the Most
Massive Stars in the SMC)

The Fine Guidance Sensors were used to conduct high angular
resolution observations of some of the SMC’s hottest and most luminous
objects by conducting a comprehensive survey of nearly every spectral type
in the upper portion of the HR diagram. Binary or multiple star systems
will be detected down to an unprecedented level, more than one order of
magnitude better than possible with WFPC2. The targets selected include a
representative list of normal Main Sequence O-stars and their evolved
descendents, namely supergiants, hypergiants, LBVs, and WRs, many of which
have been previously observed by HST’s spectrometers for purposes of
cosmological calibrations. The observations completed, and no problems
were reported.

1.27 Completed WF/PC-2 8632 (A UV Atlas of Nearby Galaxies)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform a snapshot survey of local galaxies
at UV wavelengths with the F300W filter. The aim of the project is to
build a reference UV Atlas of normal galaxies, whose optical images are
well known, with the highest possible degree of information, covering all
the morphological types and luminosity classes. The proposal completed

1.28 Completed WF/PC-2 8597 (The Fueling of Active Nuclei: Why are
Active Galaxies Active?)

The WF/PC-2 was used to investigate the accretion onto massive
black holes that are believed to be the energy source for AGN. However,
evidence for black holes in quiescent galaxies has also been reported. Why
are these galaxies inactive? One possibility is that active galaxies are
better at providing fuel to the nuclear region than quiescent
galaxies. Other possible fueling mechanisms such as “bars-within-bars”
or nuclear spirals cannot be investigated from the ground because they are
relatively small features in the ISM. The observations were completed as

1.29 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1 8691 (Calibrating the Cosmic Meter Stick:
The Distance to the LMC Using Eclipsing Binaries)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA1) was used to
measure the LMC distance which is crucial for the calibration of the Cosmic
Distance Scale. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.30 Completed WF/PC-2 8059 (POMS Test Proposal: Targeted Parallel
Archive Proposal)

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe the parallel opportunities
available in the neighborhood of bright galaxies are treated in a slightly
different way from the normal pure parallels. Local Group galaxies offer
the opportunity for a closer look at young stellar
populations. Narrow-band images in F656N can be used both to identify
young stars via their emission lines, and to map the gas distribution in
star-forming regions. The observations completed nominally.


2.1 Guide Star Acquisitions:

Scheduled Acquisitions: 28

Successful: 28

Scheduled Re-acquisitions: 21

Successful: 21

2.2 FHST Updates:

Scheduled: 59

Successful: 59

2.3 Operations Notes:

Using ROP SR-1A, the SSR EDAC error counter was cleared eight times.

The NSSC-1 error report was reset at 014/0430Z per ROP NS-5.

The Gyro #6 on-Orbit Low Mode Test continues. From 014/0430Z until
014/0949Z, as directed by operations requests, both PN and HN telemetry
formats were commanded in order to receive additional low mode gyro
data. Other periods of data gathering were from 014/1035Z until 014/1045Z
and from 015/0016Z until 015/0042Z.

The engineering status buffer limits were adjusted at 015/0650Z,
per ROP DF-8A.


Continuation of normal science observations and calibrations.

SpaceRef staff editor.