Status Report

Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #2931 8 Aug 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2001
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PERIOD COVERED: 0000Z (UTC) 08/07/01 – 0000Z (UTC) 08/08/01

Daily Status Report as of 220/0000Z


1.1 Completed Eight Sets of STIS/CCD 8808 (POMS Test Proposal: STIS
Non-Scripted Parallel Proposal Continuation III)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to make
non-scripted, parallel observations as part of a POMS test proposal. The
observations completed with no anomalous activity.

1.2 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 9042 (An Archive To Detect The
Progenitors Of Massive, Core-Collapse Supernovae)

The WF/PC-s was used to search for supernovae which have massive
star progenitors. The already extensive HST archive and high-resolution
ground-based images of galaxies within ~20 Mpc enables us to resolve and
quantify their individual bright stellar content. As massive, evolved
stars are the most luminous single objects in a galaxy, the progenitors of
core-collapse supernovae should be directly detectable on pre-explosion
images. One Type II progenitor has been observed this year, and the
investigators have proposed a short, companion WFPC2 proposal to confirm
this candidate and identify a second. The observations completed nominally.

1.3 Completed STIS/CCD 8845 (Spectroscopic Flats C9)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to obtain
CCD flats in the spectroscopic mode. The observations completed with no
reported problems.

1.4 Completed Three Sets of WF/PC-2 8828 (Cycle 9 Supplemental Darks pt3/3)

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 with no reported problems.

1.5 Completed Four Sets of STIS/CCD 8907 (Spectroscopic Flats C10)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to obtain
CCD flats in the spectroscopic mode. There were no reported problems.

1.6 Completed Two Sets of STIS/CCD 7912 (STIS Parallel Archive Proposal
– Nearby Galaxies – Imaging and Spectroscopy)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to make
parallel observations of nearby galaxies. This survey will be useful to
study the star formation histories, chemical evolution, and distances to
these galaxies. These data will be placed immediately into the Hubble Data
Archive. The observations were completed as scheduled, and no problems
were reported.

1.7 Completed WF/PC-2 9043 (Cepheid Distances to Early-type Galaxies)

The WF/PC-2 was used to continue observations in the HST Key
Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale and the HST project on the
“Calibration of Nearby Type Ia Supernovae” that have greatly improved our
knowledge of the Hubble Constant by providing a solid zero point for the
Tully- Fisher {TF} relation and Type Ia Supernovae {SNIa}. However, severe
inconsistencies remain for distance estimators to early-type galaxies such
as surface brightness fluctuations {SBF}, the planetary nebula luminosity
function {PNLF}, the fundamental plane {FP}, and the globular cluster
luminosity function {GCLF}. As a result, the distance to the Virgo cluster
core remains uncertain by as much as 20 determination is directly affected
by a lingering 0.1 mag {5 uncertainty in the photometric calibration of the
WFPC2. Resolving these issues is essential not only to firm up the
extragalactic distance scale, but also to understand the mass and velocity
structure of the local universe. SBF in particular is emerging as the
method of choice for mapping local velocity fields to 10, 000 kms because
it offers an order of magnitude less Malmquist bias than TF, and SNIa are
too rare to study large scale flows effectively. This project will tighten
the photometric calibration of the WFPC2, and provide a solid Cepheid
calibration for SBF and PNLF. The observations completed nominally.

1.8 Completed Two Sets of WF/PC-2 9124 (Mid-UV SNAPSHOT Survey of
Nearby Irregulars: Galaxy Structure and Evolution Benchmark)

The WF/PC-2 was used to investigate the relation between star
formation and the global physical characteristics of galaxies to interpret
the morphologies of distant galaxies in terms of their evolutionary
status. Distant galaxies are primarily observed in their rest frame
mid-ultraviolet. They resemble nearby late-type galaxies, but are they
really physically similar classes of objects? It is proposed to address
this question through a SNAPSHOT survey in the 2 mid-UV filter F300W of 98
nearby late-type, irregular and peculiar galaxies. No problems were reported.

1.9 Completed WFPC-2/STIS/CCD/MA2 9114 (SINS: The Supernova Intensive
Study– Cycle 10)

The WF/PC-2 and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and
MA2) were used to perform closer observations of supernovae that will
create the chemical history of the Universe, energize the interstellar gas,
stiffen the spine of the extragalactic distance scale and provide the only
evidence for an accelerating universe. A
violent encounter is underway between the fast-moving debris and the
stationary inner ring. Monitoring this interaction will help solve the
riddles of stellar evolution posed by the enigmatic three-ring system of SN
1987A. Our UV observations of Ly- Alpha emission reveal the present
location and velocity of a remarkable reverse shock that provides a unique
laboratory for studying fast shocks and a powerful tool for dissecting the
structure of the vanished star. No problems were encountered.

1.10 Completed STIS/CCD 8864 (CCD Dark Monitor-Part 2)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to monitor
the darks for the CCD. The proposal completed nominally.

1.11 Completed FGS/1 8777 (Calibrating Stellar Models with the
Pleiades: Resolving the Distance Discrepancy-Cycle 9)

FGS-1 was used to measure an accurate distance to the Pleiades and
to resolve the problem raised by the Hipparcos results for this
cluster. The Hipparcos distance, taken at face value, indicates that
solar-composition ZAMS stars are 30% fainter than previously believed. The
resolution to the Hipparcos distance problem is vital for understanding all
the parallaxes that have come from that mission and hence this issue is
fundamental to the cosmic distance scale. In this first phase we observed
several spectroscopic binary systems with 2 to 3 year orbital periods to
assertain the prospects for deriving visual orbits and hence orbital
parallaxes for these cluster members. The proposal completed with no
reported problems.

1.12 Completed STIS/CCD 9066 (Closing in on the Hydrogen Reionization
Edge of the Universe)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used in parallel
constrain the Hydrogen reionization edge in emission that marks the
transition from a neutral to a fully ionized IGM at a predicted
redshifts. The proposal completed uneventfully.

1.13 Completed Three Sets of WF/PC-2 9244 (POMS Test Proposal: WFII
Parallel Archive Proposal Continuation)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform a generic target version of the
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 observations completed with no anomalous

1.14 Completed STIS/CCD 9110 (A Search for Kuiper Belt Object Satellites)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to
investigate whether the large number of collisions thought to have taken
place in the primordial Kuiper belt suggest that many Kuiper belt objects
{KBOs} could have suffered binary-forming collisions similar to that which
formed the Pluto — Charon binary. Detection of such KBO satellites would
allow measurement of KBO masses, would help to understand the past
collisional environment of the Kuiper belt, and would give a context to the
otherwise unique-seeming formation of the Pluto — Charon binary. The
proposal completed with no reported problems.

1.15 Completed STIS/CCD 8865 (Bias Monitor-Part 2)

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 with no anomalous activity.

1.16 Completed STIS/CCD 8909 (CCD Dispersion Solutions)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to perform
wavelength dispersion solutions that are determined on a yearly basis as
part of a long-term monitoring program and to obtain deep engineering
wavecals for all CCD gratings at several wavelength centers. The proposal
completed with no reported problems.

1.17 Completed WF/PC-2 9107 (The Fundamental Plane for Nuclear Black Holes)

The WF/PC-2 was used to conduct more in-depth searches for
supermassive black holes in galaxy centers. Previous work has led to the
discoveries that {1} most or all hot galaxies contain massive dark objects
at their centers, presumably black holes; {2} there is a remarkably tight
correlation between the black-hole mass and the luminosity-weighted
velocity dispersion of the hot component of the galaxy. This mbh-Sigma
relation has a scatter which is <0.3 dex in mbh and consistent with zero. This relationship suggests a strong link between black-hole formation, AGN activity, and galaxy formation, and once it is understood this link should advance our understanding of all three processes. The goal of this proposal is to investigate the scatter in the mbh-Sigma relation and the role of possible second parameters, by examining a sample of galaxies at fixed velocity dispersion Sigma=200+/- 20 kms. This approach decouples the effects of a second parameter from uncertainties in the shape of the mbh-Sigma relation, and minimizes spurious correlations because all of the galaxies will be studied using the same well-tested observational and modeling techniques. No anomalous activity occurred.


2.1 Guide Star Acquisitions:

Scheduled Acquisitions: 7

Successful: 7

Scheduled Re-acquisitions: 8

Successful: 8

2.2 FHST Updates:

Scheduled: 14

Successful: 14

2.3 Operations Notes:

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


Continuation of normal science observations and calibrations.

SpaceRef staff editor.