Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3505

By SpaceRef Editor
December 10, 2003
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The Ultra Deep Field with ACS

The ACS Ultra Deep Field {UDF} is a survey carried out by using
Director’s Discretionary time. The main science driver are galaxy
evolution and cosmology. The primary instrument is the Advanced Camera
for Surveys but WFPC2 and NICMOS will also be used in parallel. The
data will be made public. The UDF consists of a single ultra-deep
field {410 orbits in total} within the CDF-S GOODS area. The survey
will use four filters: F435W {55 orbits}, F606W {55 orbits}, F775W
{150 orbits}, and F850LP {150 orbits}. The F435W {B} and F606W {V}
exposures will be one magnitude deeper than the equivalent HDF
filters. The F775W {I} exposure will be 1.5 magnitude deeper than the
equivalent HDF exposure. The depth in F775W and F850LP is optimized
for searching very red objects – like z=6 galaxies – at the detection
limit of the F850LP image. The pointing will be RA{J2000}=3 32 40.0
and Decl.{J2000}=-27 48 00. These coordinates may change slightly due
to guide star availability and implementation issues. We will attempt
to include in the field both a spectroscopically confirmed z=5.8
galaxy and a spectroscopically confirmed type Ia SN at z=1.3. The
pointing avoids the gaps with the lowest effective exposure on the
Chandra ACIS image of CDFS. This basic structure of the survey
represents a consensus recommendation of a Scientific Advisory
Committee to the STScI Director Steven Beckwith. A local Working Group
is looking in detail at the implementation of the survey.

ACS/HRC 9851

Host Galaxies of Reverberation-Mapped AGNs

We propose to obtain unsaturated ACS high-resolution images of all
reverberation-mapped active galactic nuclei in order to remove the
point-like nuclear light from each image, thus yielding a
"nucleus-free" image of the host galaxy. This will allow investigation
of host-galaxy properties: our particular interest is determination of
the host-galaxy starlight contribution to the reverberation mapping
observations, which is necessary for accurate determination of the
relationship between the AGN continuum flux and the size of the broad
Balmer-line emitting region of AGNs. Because this relationship is used
to estimate black-hole masses of large samples of distant AGNs,
correct determination of the slope of this relationship is critically


CCD Daily Monitor

This program consists of basic tests to monitor, the read noise, the
development of hot pixels and test for any source of noise in ACS CCD
detectors. This programme will be executed once a day for the entire
lifetime of ACS.

ACS/WFC 9765

The Dusty ISM Substructure in Nearby Spiral Galaxies

We propose an ACS V&I imaging snapshot survey of all nearby edge-on
spiral galaxies in order to measure the small scale structures in
their dust extinction down to the 10pc scale. Dust and molecular gas
are tightly coupled and therefore HST high resolution reddening maps
can reveal information about the cold ISM phase on a scale
inaccessible from the groundby any other means. We have recently
discovered a sudden change in dust lane properties using ground-based
data; all galaxies with rotation speeds in access of 120km/s show dust
lanes, but none of the slower rotators does. This transition may be
caused by a sudden change in the state of the multiphase ISM, and HST
resolution imaging is needed to fully quantify this effect. Analysis
will consist of full radiative transfer modeling of dust extinction
with realistic, fractal like substructure and power spectrum analysis
of the structure from the global to the 10pc scale. By observing a
sample of galaxies with a range in structural parameters we can
quantify how the cold ISM structure changes as function of radius,
rotation speed, local surface density, et cetera. This information is
duly needed with SIRTF soon providing a wealth of information on dust
absorption, but lacking the resolution to determine the small scale
distribution of the dust.

ACS/WFC 9860

ESSENCE: Measuring the Dark Energy Equation of State

The accelerating universe appears to be dominated by a dark energy
with a significant negative pressure. The ratio of the pressure to
density of this mysterious energy {its equation of state} is an
observable which can differentiate between the proliferating candidate
theories. We propose to estimate the dark energy equation of state by
observing Type Ia supernovae at redshifts near z=0.7 with HST in
concert with the on-going ESSENCE NOAO Survey program that is
discovering and studying supernovae between 0.3<z<0.8. We show that an
interesting constraint on the equation of state can be made with
supernovae observed at modest redshifts given the current knowledge of
the matter density. We will follow 10 Type Ia supernovae discovered
from the ground and passed to HST without disrupting its schedule. The
full data set will constrain the equation of state to 10% and strictly
limit the range of possible dark energy models. In keeping with the
ESSENCE policy, these observations will available to the community


Accurate and Robust Calibration of the Extragalactic Distance Scale
with the Maser Galaxy NGC4258

The extragalactic distance scale {EDS} is defined by a comparison of
Cepheid Period-Luminosity {PL} relations for nearby galaxies and the
LMC, whose uncertain distance is thereby the SOLE anchor. Studies of
maser sources orbiting the central black hole in the galaxy NGC4258
have provided the most accurate extragalactic distance ever {7.2+/-
0.5Mpc}. Since this distance is well determined and based on GEOMETRIC
arguments, NGC4258 can provide a much needed new anchor for the EDS.
We propose multi-epoch BVIH observations of NGC4258 in order to
discover about 100 Cepheids and to characterize their light curves
with 2-3 times greater accuracy than was previously possible with
WFPC2. At 90 orbits {48 in Cycle 12; 42 in Cycle 13}, this is a
relatively large program. However, the result will have a major impact
on the EDS, and substantial attention must be paid to characterization
and minimization of systematic errors, as from metallicity, crowding,
and blending. The resulting dataset will be the most complete for
Cepheids in any galaxy yet studied with HST. In an ongoing NASA-funded
program {OSS-SARA}, we are using new analysis techniques and radio
data to reduce uncertainty in the geometric distance to < 3% {0.07
mag}. With this improved geometric distance and the BVIH data, we will
be able to calculate the zero point of the PL relation ROBUSTLY to <4%
{0.09 mag}.

NIC/NIC3 9865

The NICMOS Parallel Observing Program

We propose to continue managing the NICMOS pure parallel program.
Based on our experience, we are well prepared to make optimal use of
the parallel opportunities. The improved sensitivity and efficiency of
our observations will substantially increase the number of
line-emitting galaxies detected. As our previous work has
demonstrated, the most frequently detected line is Halpha at
0.7<z<1.9, which provides an excellent measure of current star
formation rate. We will also detect star-forming and active galaxies
in other redshift ranges using other emission lines. The grism
observations will produce by far the best available Halpha luminosity
functions over the crucial–but poorly observed–redshift range where
galaxies appear to have assembled most of their stellar mass. This key
process of galaxy evolution needs to be studied with IR data; we found
that observations at shorter wavelengths appear to have missed a large
fraction of the star-formation in galaxies, due to dust reddening. We
will also obtain deep F110W and F160W images, to examine the space
densities and morphologies of faint red galaxies. In addition to
carrying out the public parallels, we will make the fully reduced and
calibrated images and spectra available on-line, with some
ground-based data for the deepest parallel fields included.

NIC3 9979

The Ultra Deep Field – NICMOS Parallels

This is a plan to manage the NICMOS pure parallels of the ACS Ultra
Deep Survey. We will obtain a mix of F110W and F160W images along
sight-lines within the mosaiced ACS fields of the CDF-S GOODS and GEMS
surveys, with these sight-lines enabling an examination of the space
density and morphologies of the reddest galaxies.


NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 1.

A new procedure proposed to alleviate the CR-persistence problem of
NICMOS. Dark frames will be obtained immediately upon exiting the SAA
contour 23, and every time a NICMOS exposure is scheduled within 50
minutes of coming out of the SAA. The darks will be obtained in
parallel in all three NICMOS Cameras. The POST-SAA darks will be
non-standard reference files available to users with a USEAFTER
date/time mark.

STIS 9786

The Next Generation Spectral Library

We propose to continue the Cycle 10 snapshot program to produce a Next
Generation Spectral Library of 600 stars for use in modeling the
integrated light of galaxies and clusters. This program is using the
low dispersion UV and optical gratings of STIS. The library will be
roughly equally divided among four metallicities, very low {[Fe/H] lt
-1.5}, low {[Fe/H] -1.5 to -0.5}, near-solar {[Fe/H] -0.3 to 0.1}, and
super-solar {[Fe/H] gt 0.2}, well-sampling the entire HR-diagram in
each bin. Such a library will surpass all extant compilations and have
lasting archival value, well into the Next Generation Space Telescope
era. Because of the universal utility and community-broad nature of
this venture, we waive the entire proprietary period.

STIS/CCD 10000

STIS Pure Parallel Imaging Program: Cycle 12

This is the default archival pure parallel program for STIS during
cycle 12.

STIS/CCD 10017

CCD Dark Monitor-Part 1

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

STIS/CCD 10019

CCD Bias Monitor – Part 1

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.


First Spectroscopic Study of a Unique Set of Young Stars in the Orion

We propose to obtain the first spectra of the central stars of Orion
proplyds for which the stars are visible in WFPC images. While it is
known that the central stars are broadly late-type, they have never
been spectrally classified or studied in detail as pre-MS objects. The
Orion proplyds are generally thought to be protoplanetary disks
similar to the primordial disk of the Solar System. They offer a
unique opportunity to understand the physical conditions of
protoplanetary disks in a nebular environment generally believed to be
typical of that in which most stars formed. Models of the proplyds are
available which predict the observable IR spectral energy distribution
using the spectral type of the central star as part of the numerical
input. Further progress in understanding proplyds will require
knowledge of the spectral types of these stars. We will use
already-proven diagnostics for spectrally classifying late-type PMS
stars. In addition, many emission lines are expected in objects of
this age which can be used to look for infall and outflow. Different
accretion models of young stars predict different line widths, so our
observations can help test models of late-type pre-MS stars and can be
used to compare as pre-MS objects the proplyd stars with other pre-MS


The Ultra Deep Field – STIS parallels

We propose to obtain slitless spectroscopy of objects in the GEMS and
GOODS area around the UDF.

STIS/MA1 10034

Cycle 12 MAMA Dark Monitor

This test performs the routine monitoring of the MAMA detector dark
noise. This proposal will provide the primary means of checking on
health of the MAMA detectors systems through frequent monitoring of
the background count rate. The purpose is to look for evidence of
change in dark indicative of detector problem developing.

WFPC2 10068

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Standard Darks

This dark calibration program obtains dark frames every week in order
to provide data for the ongoing calibration of the CCD dark current
rate, and to monitor and characterize the evolution of hot pixels.
Over an extended period these data will also provide a monitor of
radiation damage to the CCDs.

WFPC2 10069

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Supplemental Darks, Part 1/3

This dark calibration program obtains 3 dark frames every day to
provide data for monitoring and characterizing the evolution of hot

WFPC2 10072


This calibration proposal is the Cycle 12 routine internal monitor for
WFPC2, to be run weekly to monitor the health of the cameras. A
variety of internal exposures are obtained in order to provide a
monitor of the integrity of the CCD camera electronics in both bays
{gain 7 and gain 15}, a test for quantum efficiency in the CCDs, and a
monitor for possible buildup of contaminants on the CCD windows.

WFPC2 9709

POMS Test Proposal: WFII parallel archive proposal

This is the 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 2002 Parallels
Working Group.

WFPC2 9980

The Ultra Deep Field – WFPC2 Parallels

The ACS Ultra Deep Field {UDF} is a survey carried out by using
Director’s Discretionary time. The main science drivers are galaxy
evolution and cosmology. The primary instrument is the Advanced Camera
for Surveys but WFPC2, NICMOS, and STIS will also be used in pure
parallel mode. The data will be made public. The UDF consists of a
single ultra-deep field {410 orbits in total} within the CDF-S GOODS
area. We request a modification of the default pure parallel programs.
Rather than duplicate the redder bands which will be done much better
with ACS, we propose to observe in the near-ultraviolet F300W filter.
These data will enable study of the rest-frame ultraviolet morphology
of galaxies at 0<z<1, allowing determination of the morphological
k-correction and the location of star formation within galaxies, using
a sample that is likely to be nearly complete with multi-wavelength
photometry and spectroscopic redshifts. The results can be used to
interpret observations of higher redshift galaxies by ACS.


Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary
reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be
investigated.) None


1177-0 Change Limits MAMA2 Threshold Voltage @342/1830z (Closed)

                            SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
FGS GSacq                09                        09
FGS REacq                07                        07
FHST Update              11                        11


Successfully completed Source/Destination Codes Comparison testing
339/18:40Z – 21:14Z using CCS "B" String with CCS Release and
PRD S07300. Data source was PSS 2 with Release GSTDN mode
command and telemetry Source and Destinations Ids were verified, along
with the primary and backup codes for JSC. Testing was conducted out
of the SMOR.

HST Telemetry Monitoring testing scheduled 343/12:00Z – 19:00Z with
GDOC, SOC, and HITT using CCS "B" String with CCS Release and
PRD O06300, CCS "C" String with CCS Release 4.0.3 and PRD O06300, and
CCS "D" and "F" Strings with CCS Release and PRD O06300S.
The purpose of this testing is to verify CCS "B" String capability to
ingest routing HST engineering data with CCS Release 4.0.31.

SpaceRef staff editor.