Status Report

Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #3012 – 6 Dec 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
December 6, 2001
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PERIOD COVERED: 0000Z (UTC) 12/05/01 – 0000Z (UTC) 12/06/01

Daily Status Report as of 340/0000Z


1.1 Completed Two Sets of WF/PC-2 8937 (Cycle 9 Supplemental Darks pt2/3)

The WF/PC-2 was used obtain three dark frames every day to provide
data for monitoring and characterizing the evolution of hot pixels. No
problems were encountered.

1.2 Completed STIS/CCD/MA2 8471 (D/H In Quasar Absorption Line Systems)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD and MA2) was used to
record the high Lyman series lines of two damped Lyman-alpha systems in the
coverage of the near-UV band, where the interference from randomly situated
Lyman-alpha forest lines is much lower than at visible wavelengths. A
secondary objective of this program is to observe various atomic lines
shortward of Lyman-alpha in these systems {such as absorption from the O VI
doublet arising from very hot gas}, and to register absorption features
from the Lyman and Werner bands of molecular hydrogen if the molecular
abundances are high enough to make them detectable. The proposal completed
with no reported problems.

1.3 Completed Seven 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

1.4 Completed Four Sets of WF/PC-2 8940 (Cycle 10 Earth Flats)

The WF/PC-2 was used to monitor flatfield stability by obtaining
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 without incident.

1.5 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 reported problems.

1.6 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.

1.7 Completed STIS/CCD 9165 (A Damped LyAlpha System in a Close
Separation Lens)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) observed damped
LyAlpha absorption systems that hold key information about galaxy formation
and chemical evolution of the universe. It is proposed to conduct
spatially resolved absorption line spectroscopy in the only presently known
DLA system with two independent lines of sight. This object was discovered
recently by us in the course of an ongoing HST snapshot survey as a double
QSO at z=1.57 with an image separation of only 0.63 arcsec, almost
certainly due to gravitational lensing. The ground-based composite optical
spectrum shows an exceptionally strong Mg II+ Fe II absorption system at
z=0.93, which clearly indicates the presence of a damped LyAlpha absorber
{DLA} in the line of sight. The observations ended nominally.

1.8 Completed Three Sets of 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

1.9 Completed STIS/CCD 9139 (Variability in the UV Spectrum of 3C 279:
Testing Models for the Gamma-Ray Emission in Blazars)

The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (CCD) was used to
determine whether gamma- rays are produced on the scale of the broad line
region, using multi-epoch UV snapshots of 3C 279 to find and characterize
its LyAlpha variability. This will validate the mirror model for
generating the intense gamma-ray emission from blazars. 3C 279 is the
best-studied blazar from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths, showing frequent
large flares over days to months. Variability in the UV continuum and
LyAlpha will directly reveal any coupling between the jet ionizing flux and
the broad-line region emission, providing clues to the physics and
energetics of all radio-loud AGN. All observations completed without
reported incident.

1.10 Completed Two 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.

1.11 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
proposal completed with no reported problems.

1.12 Completed 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.

1.13 Completed WF/PC-2 9180 (Gamma-ray Burst Progenitors: Probing Their

The Wf/PC-2 was used to perform a target of opportunity observation
of gamma ray burster (GRB), GRB-011121. GRB astronomy is a field maturing
at a phenomenal rate. Three important new observational and theoretical
discoveries, formulated over the last twelve months, allow the proposer to
address new, and in many cases, more sophisticated questions than could
have been posed previously. These developments: the discovery of X-ray
lines in GRB 991216; the observation that N_H as deduced from X-ray
afterglow are one to two orders of magnitude larger than the dust
extinction inferred from optical afterglow; and the growing realization
that the afterglow emission may exhibit features of dust echoes, appear to
offer unexpected and new diagnostics that will directly inform us about the
progenitor, the circum-progenitor material and the immediate interstellar
environs. There were no reported problems.

1.14 Completed Five Sets of 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.


2.1 Guide Star Acquisitions:

Scheduled Acquisitions: 9

Successful: 9

Scheduled Re-acquisitions: 7

Successful: 7

2.2 FHST Updates:

Scheduled: 19

Successful: 19

2.3 Operations Notes:

The NSSC-1 status buffer was dumped and reset at 339/1419Z as
directed by ROP NS-3.

The RMGA calibration was successfully completed at 339/1641Z.

Using ROP SR-9A, the SSR-3 EDAC error counter was cleared at 339/2032Z.

The SSR-1 EDAC error counter was cleared at 340/0232Z and at
340/0952Z per ROP SR-1A..


Continuation of normal science observations and calibrations.

SpaceRef staff editor.