Status Report

Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #3009 – 3 Dec 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2001
Filed under , ,



PERIOD COVERED: 0000Z (UTC) 11/30/01 – 0000Z (UTC) 12/03/01

Daily Status Report as of 337/0000Z


1.1 Completed Ten Sets of FGS/1 9169 (An Interferometric Harvest of
Double Degenerates)

Fine Guidance Sensor #1R was used to observe the white dwarf mass
and age distributions that hold clues to the star formation history of our
Galaxy and the age of the disk. No problems were reported.

1.2 Completed Eight Sets of WF/PC-2 8936 (Cycle 10 Supplemental Darks

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.

1.3 Completed WF/PC-2 8943 (SM3B Lyman Alpha Check: Pre-SM3B Baseline)

The WF/PC-2 was used to provide a pre-SM3B baseline observation
against which the post-SM3B measurements can be compared. GRW+70D5824
throughput measurements in UV filters and UV crossed with long-pass filters
{to determine red leak contribution} will be used to indicate any drop in
throughput at Lyman alpha, which could be due to contamination in the
pick-off mirror {or primary/secondary mirror}. During this proposal, the
acquisition failure described in 2.1 and HSTAR 8410 occurred, affecting
some of the observations when the take data flag went down.

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. The first iteration of this proposal did not execute due to the
STIS suspend described in 2.1. Otherwise, there was no other anomalous

1.5 Completed STIS/CCD 8669 (Merger-Driven Evolution Of Galactic
Nuclei: Observations Of The Toomre Sequence)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was to be used to
observe galaxy mergers that are believed responsible for triggering
starburst and AGN activity in galaxies, and even perhaps transforming
spiral galaxies into ellipticals. This proposal did not execute due to the
STIS suspend described in 2.1.

1.6 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 8932 (Decontaminations and
Associated Observations Pt. 1/3)

The WF/PC-2 was used for the monthly WFPC2 decons. Also included
are instrument monitors tied to decons: photometric stability check, focus
monitor, pre- and post-decon internals {bias, intflats, kspots, &and
darks}, UV throughput check, VISFLAT sweep, and internal UV flat check. No
problems were reported.

1.7 Completed WF/PC-2 8591 (The Smallest Nuclear Black Holes)

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe small nuclear black holes which are
the last major unexplored part of BH parameter space, searching for the
smallest BHs that HST can possibly find. The proposal completed with no
reported anomalies.

1.8 Completed Seven 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 first iteration of this proposal did not execute due to
the STIS suspend described in 2.1. Otherwise, the observations were
completed as planned, and no other anomalies were reported.

1.9 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.

1.10 Completed Twelve 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

1.11 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1/MA2 9036 (An Ultraviolet Spectroscopic
Survey of Star-Forming Galaxies in the Local Universe)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD, MA1 and MA2) was
used to perform a comprehensive STIS ultraviolet spectroscopic survey of
star-forming galaxies in the local universe. The sample covers a broad
range of morphologies, chemical composition, and luminosity. The
observations will provide spectral coverage between 1200 and 3100 Angstrom,
at a resolution of 100 to 200 kms and S/N of about 30. The data set will
allow the proposers to document and quantify the effects of massive stars
on the interstellar medium and to infer implications for the evolution of
the host galaxies. The proposal completed with no anomalous activity.

1.12 Completed STIS/MA2 8048 (Secular Changes in the Jet of M87)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (MA2) was to be used to
continue the investigation of the M87 jet by studying proper motions and
structural changes of the jet. As detailed in HSTAR 8413 and 2.1, the
acquisition for this proposal failed, affecting all three observations

1.13 Completed STIS/CCD/MA1/MA2 8919 (MAMA Sensitivity and Focus
Monitor C10)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD, MA1 and MA2) was
used to monitor the sensitivity of each MAMA grating mode to detect any
change due to contamination or other causes, and also to monitor the STIS
focus in a spectroscopic and an imaging mode. All observations were

1.14 Completed STIS/CCD 9154 (Spatial Distribution Of The Gas Inside
The Beta Pic Disk)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to
investigate the gas and dust disk surrounding Beta Pictoris that will give
clues to the understanding of the late stages of planetary
formation. There was no anomalous activity.

1.15 Completed Four 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.

1.16 Completed WF/PC-2 9087 (Black Hole X-ray Transients and X-ray
Binaries in M31)

The WF/PC-2 was used to search for M31 for x-ray transients which
had previously been seen as part of the Chandra Guaranteed Time
Observations {GTO} program. The x-ray properties of these transient
sources {spectra, variability} allow us to determine whether the accreting
object is a black hole or a neutron star. It is proposed to determine the
nature of the mass-losing star. Massive stars will show little {<2 mag} change in their UV luminosities during outbursts, while low-mass stars will show large {>5 mag} changes in their UV luminosities. By determining the
nature of the primary {accreting} and secondary stars in these x-ray
transients, we will have the first dataset that will allow the evolution of
black hole and neutron star binaries to be studied in an external
galaxy. The proposal completed nominally.

1.17 Completed 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. The observations were completed as scheduled, and no
problems were reported.

1.18 Completed WF/PC-2 8698 (Identification of the Galaxy’s Missing Mass)

The WF/PC-2 was used to observe the nature of dark matter that is
one of the key astrophysical questions of the day. The existence of dark
matter and its dynamical dominance in the outer parts of our Galaxy and
spiral galaxies with flat rotation curves is well established. The MACHO
project has identified ~half of the Milky Way’s dark matter with stellar
objects of ~0.5 M_sun, probably white dwarfs. But the location of the
microlensing in the halo is disputed. Several have detected two candidate
halo white dwarfs of L/L_sun ~ 10^-5 in the Hubble Deep Field with 25 +/- 5
mas/year proper motions. The observations completed with no reported problems.

1.19 Completed STIS/CCD 8900 (Performance Monitor)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to measure
the baseline performance and commandability of the CCD subsystem. All
exposures are internals. The observations completed normally.

1.20 Completed Two Sets of 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. No problems were encountered.

1.21 Completed 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.

1.22 Completed STIS/CCD 8667 (Nuclear Stellar Disks in Early Galaxies:
Black Hole Masses and Disk/Bar/Bulge Evolution)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to image of
an additional four E/SO galaxies to: {1} test whether the unusual
M_bh/M_bulge ratio is typical of these nuclear disk galaxies and {2} search
for additional ring/bar structures will help determine the source of the
accreted material and the time sequence of the disk/bar/bulge/Black Hole
fueling connection. The observations completed with no reported anomalies.

1.23 Completed WF/PC-2 8942 (Cycle 10 Intflat Sweeps and Linearity Test)

The WF/PC-2 was used to monitor the pixel-to-pixel flatfield
response and provide a linearity check. These intflat sequences are done
once during the year and the images will provide a backup database in the
event of complete failure of the visflat lamp as well as allow monitoring
of the gain ratios. There were no reported problems.


2.1 Guide Star Acquisitions:

Scheduled Acquisitions: 18

Successful: 16

As detailed in HSTAR 8410, the acquisition at 334/130220Z failed
when the search radius limit was exceeded for FGS-2. A subsequent map
showed relatively small attitude errors. The proposal described in 1.3 was

HSTAR 8413 was written for an acquisition failure at 335/085033Z
when the search radius limit was exceeded for both FGS-1 and FGS-2. The
proposal detailed in 1.12 was affected.

Scheduled Re-acquisitions: 12

Successful: 12

2.2 FHST Updates:

Scheduled: 45

Successful: 43

Per HSTAR 8412, the two full maneuver updates at 334/1657Z failed
due to tracker #3. No observations or acquisitions were affected.

2.3 Operations Notes:

Subsequent to the NSSC-1 flight software 7.5.2 installation, at
334/143354Z, the Science Mission Specification disabled the STIS heater
control for the zone B side. This commanding included patching three
sensors’ message number to prevent taking action since this causes the
sensors to become invalid. At 334/143454Z, STIS suspended. HSTAR 8411 was
written. Analysis by the STScI Engineering Team and the GSFC SI SE Team
found that a fourth sensor, for the MAMA heater thermistors, also becomes
invalid when the heater control zone B Side 2 is disabled. The failure to
patch this fourth sensor message number caused the suspension. STIS was
successfully recovered via real time commanding in the interval 334/2018Z
to 334/2105Z. The instrument was then re-configured to intercept the
planned upcoming science observations that began without incident at
334/2312Z. The proposals described in 1.4, 1.5 and 1.8 were affected by
these events.

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

The engineering status buffer limits were adjusted three times per

SSA transmitter #1 was turned on and off for the intervals
334/1835Z to 334/1917Z and 335/1842Z to 335/1911. Later, SSA transmitter
#2 was operated for the interval 335/2116Z to 335/2144Z. ROP IC-2 was
utilized for all cases.

SI C&DH errors were reset at 334/2231Z as directed by ROP NS-5.

The STIS MCE-2 reset at 335/112220Z while the high voltage was on
and while inside an SAA interval. The STIS flight software error counter
was reset at 335/1150Z, using ROP NS-12. MAMA-2 was recovered via normal
SMS commanding at 336/0949Z.

SSR-3 correctable EDAC errors were cleared at 335/2115Z per ROP SR-9A.

Per HSTAR 8414, the STIS thermal shelf zone 3B temperature has been
breaking its limit intermittently from 336/114456Z. The limit is 28.0
degC: the violation reaches 28.1 degC.


Continuation of normal science observations and calibrations.

SpaceRef staff editor.