Status Report

Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #2953 – 10 Sep 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
September 10, 2001
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PERIOD COVERED: 0000Z (UTC) 09/07/01 – 0000Z (UTC) 09/10/01

Daily Status Report as of 253/0000Z


1.1 Completed Six Sets of WF/PC-2 8936 (Cycle 10 Supplemental Darks Pt1/3)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform a dark calibration program that
obtains three dark frames every day to provide data for monitoring and
characterizing the evolution of hot pixels. The proposal completed with no
reported problems.

1.2 Completed STIS/MA2 9096 (Objective-Prism Spectroscopy of Massive
Young Clusters)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA2) was used to greatly
improve the spatial information by obtaining STIS NUV-MAMA objective-prism
spectroscopy in the 1300-3600 Angstrom range of three nearby extragalactic
regions with a total of ~ 10 MYCs since most of the present knowledge of
the UV spectral properties of massive young clusters {MYCs} is based on IUE
data with marginal spatial resolution. Slitless techniques are seldom
attempted on crowded clusters due to the overlap among different
sources. It is planned to overcome that problem by observing with two
different roll angles, using comparison UV and optical images from the HST
archive. The local rate check problems detailed in HSTAR 8333 and the
previous report occurred three times during this proposal. The effect on
the observations is not currently known. Otherwise, there were no other
reported problems.

1.3 Completed Eleven Sets of WF/PC-2 8815 (Cycle 9 Earth Flats)

The WF/PC-2 was used to monitor flatfield stability. This proposal
obtains sequences of Earth streak flats to construct high quality flat
fields for the WF/PC-2 filter set. These flat fields will allow mapping of
the OTA illumination pattern and will be used in conjunction with previous
internal and external flats to generate new pipeline superflats. The
proposal completed nominally.

1.4 Completed Six Sets of STIS/CCD 8901 (Dark Monitor-Part 1)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to monitor
the darks. There was no anomalous activity.

1.5 Completed STIS/CCD 9123 (Synchrotron Self-Compton Emission from the
Radio Hot Spots of Cygnus A)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to observe
radio galaxy Cygnus A recently studied in X-rays with Chandra. Four of the
radio hot spots were detected with similar morphologies to the radio
maps. The X-ray emission is almost certainly synchrotron self-Compton
emission from the radio synchrotron emitting electrons. The predictions of
this model are in excellent agreement with the Chandra spectra and also
imply a magnetic field strength close to equipartition. It is proposed to
image the predicted SSC emission from the hot spots in the optical with
goals a} to confirm the optical fluxes predicted by the SSC model, and b}
to use the radio synchrotron and optical SSC brightness distributions at
~eq 0.1 arc sec resolution to determine the internal structures of the
magnetic fields and relativistic particles within the two brighter hot
spots. The proposal completed with no reported problems.

1.6 Completed Nine 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

1.7 Completed Two Sets of WF/PC-2 9057 (Host Galaxies of Obscured QSOs
Identified by 2MASS)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform a snapshot survey of red QSOs
discovered in The Two Micron All Sky Survey {2MASS} to investigate the
detailed properties of their host galaxies. This large, possibly dominant,
population of QSOs in the local universe has been previously overlooked
because reddening by {intrinsic} obscuration along our line of sight causes
their colors to be too red for identification by traditional “UV- excess”
techniques. Their near-IR colors are similar to PG- type {UV-excess} QSOs,
but it is far from certain whether they are indeed from the same parent
population or represent a completely new class of QSO. There were no
reported problems.

1.8 Completed Six Sets of STIS/CCD 9285 (POMS Test Proposal: STIS
Non-scripted Parallel Proposal Continuation III)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to make low
galactic latitude, non-scripted parallel observations as part of a POMS
test proposal. The observations were completed as planned, and no
anomalies were reported.

1.9 Completed STIS/CCD 9131 (Imaging the Host Galaxies of High Redshift
Type Ia Supernovae)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to complete
the snapshot survey of distant galaxies of known redshift which hosted
supernovae {SNe} of Type Ia found via the Supernova Cosmology Project
{SCP}. No problems were seen.

1.10 Completed Three Sets of STIS/CCD 8903 (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. There were no problems.

1.11 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
acquisition failure described in 2.1 and HSTAR 8334 occurred during this
proposal as did the successful re-acquisition. The exact effect on the
proposal is not currently known. The proposal completed with no further
reported problems.

1.12 Completed Two Sets of WF/PC-2 9060 (Photometry of a Statistically
Significant Sample of Kuiper Belt Objects)

The WF/PC-2 was used to propel the physical study of KBOs forward
by performing accurate photometry at V, R, and I on a sample of up to 150
KBOs. The sample is made up of objects that will be observed at thermal
infrared wavelengths by SIRTF and will be used with those data to derive
the first accurate diameters and albedos for a large sample of KBOs. The
observations completed nominally.

1.13 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1 9064 (HI Detection of an Extra-Solar
Planetary Atmosphere)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA1) was used to
observe the extra-solar planet discovered around HD 209458 that is the
unique one also detected through occultation. During its transit, we will
obtain spectra of the HI and DI Lyman-Alpha line at 1215 Angstrom. No
problems occurred.

1.14 Completed STIS/CCD 9128 (A Snapshot Survey of Absorption Lines
from High Velocity Clouds in the Milky Way)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to search
for Mg II and Mg I absorption from Galactic High Velocity Clouds {HVCs}
along the sightlines of 51 of the brightest QSOs, BL Lacs and Seyfert 2
galaxies in the sky. The observations completed with no rpeorted problems.

1.15 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1 9179 (Calibrating Convection Efficiency
With Quasi-Molecular Features In Magnetic White Dwarfs)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA1) was used to
observe recently-discovered quasi-molecular absorption features of Lyman
Alpha in UV spectra of magnetic white dwarfs taken with IUE. Hitherto,
such features have only been known in non-magnetic objects where they
offered a very accurate determination of the atmospheric parameters. There
were no reported problems.

1.16 Completed WF/PC-2 8802 (Saturn’s Rings and Small Moons)

The WF/PC-2 was used to continue the long-term survey of Saturn’s
to obtain a coherent set of high resolution, multi-color images of the
Saturnian ring system over the full range of ring tilt and phase angles
accessible from the Earth over the course of 1/4 Saturn year {7 Earth
years}. Previous observations explored the rings from their nearly edge-on
aspect, just after the most recent ring plane crossings, to their current
moderate inclination. Here, it is proposed to complete our survey during
the next three Saturn oppositions {Cycles 9–11}, as the rings gradually
approach their most open configuration, shortly before the arrival of the
Cassini spacecraft at Saturn. The key goals are to investigate the
composition, structure, and particle properties of the rings from
variations of ring brightness and color with radius, tilt and phase angle,
to measure the azimuthal asymmetry of the A ring and the temporal
variability of the clumpy F ring, to follow the enigmatic behavior of the
renegade satellites Prometheus and Pandora, and to observe the co-orbital
satellites Janus and Epimetheus as they exchange orbits in February
2002. No problems were observed.

1.17 Completed Two Sets of STIS/CCD 9148 (Light Echos and the Nature of
Type Ia Supernovae)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to take
STIS snapshot images of a subset of 43 well observed Type Ia supernovae
{SNIa}, most of which have been discovered in late type galaxies over the
last 40 years to make a systematic search for light echos around SN
Ia. STIS will also observe a sample of 10 SN II and SN Ib/c, which are
believed to be the result of massive star core collapse and, therefore, to
be thin-disk population objects, in order to make an empirical calibration
of the accuracy of our method for determining scale heights. The SN Ia
sample will provide a direct as well as accurate estimate of the scale
height of SN Ia which is an important clue to the progenitors of these
events. The proposal completed nominally.

1.18 Completed Three Sets of 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.

1.19 Completed Two Sets of WF/PC-2 8867 (Gamma-Ray Bursts: Discovering
The Progenitors And Understanding The Explosion – Visits A0-R0)

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe a gamma-ray burster,
GRB010222. Gamma-ray burst astronomy, one of the most active and exciting
frontiers in astrophysics, is now entering a critical stage — with
dramatic leaps in understanding of these events, as well as new
discoveries. Improvements in triggering and positioning accuracy provided
by the SAX and HETE-2 gamma-ray satellites will allow entirely new classes
of events to be studied. Given the recent progress in this field, the
proposers are now in a position to design precision, broadband measurements
that can provide quantitative information on the as-yet unknown energy
sources, the explosion geometry, and the surrounding medium. In
particular, the growing evidence of an intimate connection between SNe and
GRBs can be definitively tested. The proposal completed with no reported

1.20 Completed STIS/CCD/MA2 8569 (A New Survey for Low-Redshift Damped
Lyman-Alpha Lines in QSO MgII Systems)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA2) was used to
support studies which have shown that most of the observable neutral gas
mass in the Universe resides in QSO damped LyAlpha {DLA} systems. However,
at low redshift, DLA can only be found by searching in the UV with HST. By
boot-strapping from the MgII statistics, we will be able to further improve
the determination of the low- redshift statistical properties of DLA {their
incidence and cosmological mass density} and open up new opportunities for
studies at low redshift. The observations completed nominally.

1.21 Completed Two Sets of STIS/MA1 8843 (Cycle 9 MAMA Dark Measurements)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA1) was used to perform
the routine monitoring of the MAMA detector dark noise. The proposal
completed nominally.

1.22 Completed Three Sets of STIS/CCD 9136 (T Tauri Star Coronagraphic
Survey: A PMS Protoplanetary Disk Census)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to observe
pre-main sequence solar-mass stars, the T Tauri stars that Millimeter and
IR studies suggest at least 50 percent have circumstellar disks similar to
the disk from which our planetary system formed. High spatial resolution,
high dynamic range imaging of such systems will map the spatial
distribution of material around the star, constraining the disk sizes and
inclinations, and provide a first assessment of when structure in the disk,
such as cleared central zones and annuli, which has been linked to planet
formation, develops. All observations completed without incident.

1.23 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1 9137 (Quasar Absorbers and Large Scale

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA1) was used to
perform spectroscopy of 15 bright quasars in a 22 square degree region that
has well-sampled galaxy redshifts. No problems were encountered.

1.24 Completed 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.

1.25 Completed STIS/CCD/MA2 9051 (Identifying Damped Lyman-alpha
Galaxies at z~1)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA2) was used to
look for samped Lyman-alpha absorption systems that contain the bulk of the
neutral gas in the Universe in the redshift range z = 0.5 – 5, yet the
nature of the galaxies responsible for the absorption is not well
understood. Only recently have observers found more than a handful of
damped absorbers at redshifts z < 1.5. Using the FIRST Bright Quasar Survey {FBQS}, with over a 1000 quasars, the proposers have undertaken a survey to build a complete picture of he nature of the galaxies responsible for damped Lyman-alpha absorption systems at z~1 and to double the sample size at this redshift. As described in 2.1 and HSTAR 8337, the acquisition and re-acquisition for this proposal defaulted to fine lock backup on one FGS only, possibly affecting the observations. Otherwise, no other problems were encountered.

1.26 Completed STIS/MA1/MA2 9151 (UV Snapshot Observation of Nearby
Star Forming Galaxies)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA1 and MA2) was used to
obtain FUV and NUV images of nearby emission- line galaxies with existing
star-formation rate {SFR} measurements from their HAlpha flux. Recently,
the use of the UV flux as a measure of SFR has gained much popularity for
estimating SFRs at different cosmic epochs. However, the SFR estimated
from UV flux could be greatly biased due to dust extinction. The KPNO
International Spectroscopic Survey {KISS} provides a large sample of nearby
HAlpha-selected starforming galaxies for which rich optical spectra are
available for measuring metallicity and dust extinction through line
ratios. By observing a subset of nearby emission-line galaxies in the KISS
sample with the STIS FUV and NUV MAMA, a direct comparison between UV and
Halpha SFR estimates will be possible. This will allow us to understand
the effect of dust extinction on UV flux for star- forming galaxies over a
wide range of HAlpha luminosity, metallicity absolute magnitude, and B-V
color . A rough dust extinction curve will be constructed for such
objects, making it possible to test plausible dust extinction curves used
in previous SFR studies of the distant universe. Also, high-resolution UV
images will allow us to search for plausible local counterparts to high
redshift galaxies whose rest-frame UV morphology is available from existing
optical HST data. As described in 2.1 and HSTAR 8337, the acquisition and
re-acquisition for this proposal defaulted to fine lock backup on one FGS
only, possibly affecting the observations. Otherwise, there were no
further reported problems.

1.27 Completed FGS/1 9168 (The Distances to AM CVn Stars)

Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) #1 was used to determine the parallaxes
and proper motions of the five brightest of the seven known AM CVn
systems. AM CVn systems are binaries where mass is transferred from a
completely hydrogen-deficient, degenerate mass donor to a white dwarf
primary through a helium accretion disk. A better understanding of these
systems is crucial for a number of reasons: (1) to study the late stages of
binary evolution, (2) to study the effect of chemical composition on the
physics of accretion discs, (3) to estimate their contribution to the
Supernovae Ia rate, and (4) to estimate their contribution to the
gravitational radiation background. All observations completed with no
reported problems.

1.28 Completed STIS/MA1/MA2 8917 (MAMA Dispersion Solution Check)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA1 and MA2) was used to
determine wavelength dispersion solutions on a yearly basis as part of a
long-term monitoring program {implemented as Program 7651 in Cycle 7,
Program 8430 in Cycle 8 and 8859 in Cycle 9}. No anomalous activity was

1.29 Completed WF/PC-2 8825 (Decontaminations and Associated
Observations 4/4)

The WF/PC-2 was used to perform the monthly decontaminations
(decons). Also included are instrument monitors tied to decons:
photometric stability check, focus monitor, pre- and post-decon internals
{bias, intflats, kspots, & darks}, UV throughput check, VISFLAT sweep, and
internal UV flat check. The proposal completed with no reported problems.

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

The WF/PC-2 was used to search for supernovae that 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.


2.1 Guide Star Acquisitions:

Scheduled Acquisitions: 29

Successful: 28

The acquisition scheduled for 250/125000Z failed when the search
radius limit was exceeded. HSTAR 8334 was written. An FHST map taken at
150/125736Z indicated large errors (-42.518, 31.066, -49.293). An ARU/PRT
was uplinked and the following re-acquisition was successful. The proposal
described in 1.11 was affected.

Per HSTAR 8337, the acquisition at 252/170522Z defaulted to fine
lock backup on FGS-3 only. The following re-acquisition at 252/1830Z
suffered the same fate. The proposals detailed in 1.25 and 1.26 may have
been affected.

Scheduled Re-acquisitions: 21

Successful: 21

2.2 FHST Updates:

Scheduled: 60

Successful: 60

2.3 Operations Notes:

Using ROP DF-18A, the engineering status buffer limits were
adjusted four times.

The SSR EDAC error counter was cleared nine times per ROP SR-1A.

Due to the acquisition failure detailed above, the STIS flight
software error counter was reset at 250/1841Z as directed by ROP NS-12.

The STIS MCE-1 reset at 252/013254Z while the high voltage was on
and while outside any SAA interval. The STIS flight software error counter
was cleared at 252/0152Z, per ROP NS-12. MAMA-1 was recovered at 252/0255Z
via normal SMS commanding at the next time high voltage was turned on.

A TTR was written when there was a required re-transmit at
252/091601Z during a 486 load.

Another TTR was generated when commanding became impossible at
253/0737Z while on the “C” string. The same commands were successfully
transmitted using the “A” string.


Continuation of normal science observations and calibrations.

SpaceRef staff editor.