Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #3518

By SpaceRef Editor
December 29, 2003
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HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

DAILY REPORT # 3518

PERIOD COVERED: DOY 359

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS 9401

The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey

We propose the most comprehensive imaging survey to date of
low-redshift, early-type galaxies. Our goal is to exploit the
exceptional imaging capabilities of the ACS by acquiring deep images
— in the SDSS g^ and z^ bandpasses — for 163 E, S0, dE, dE, N and
dS0 galaxies in Virgo, the nearest rich cluster. This extraordinary
dataset would likely constitute one of the principal legacies of HST,
and would have widespread applications for many diverse areas of
astrophysics. Our immediate scientific objectives are threefold: {1}
measure metallicities, ages and radii for the many thousands of
globular clusters {GCs} in these galaxies, and use this information to
derive the protogalactic mass spectrum of each galaxy; {2} measure the
central luminosity and color profile of each galaxy, and use this
information to carry out a completely independent test of the merging
hierarchy inferred from the GCs, with the aid of N-body codes that
simulate the merger of galaxies containing massive black holes; and
{3} calibrate the z^ -band SBF method, measure Virgo’s 3-D structure,
and carry out the definitive study of the GC luminosity function’s
precision as a standard candle. Our proposed Virgo Cluster Survey will
yield a database of unprecedented depth, precision and uniformity, and
will enable us to study the record of galaxy and cluster formation in
a level of detail which will never be possible with more distant
systems.

ACS/CCD/WFC 9978

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/WFC 10042

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 10006

Black Hole X-ray Novae in M31

During A01-3 we found 22 Black Hole X-ray Novae {BHXN} in M31 using
Chandra, and with HST {WFPC2} found two optical counterparts. Our
results suggest either a surprisingly high ratio of BH to NS binaries,
or a surprisingly high duty cycle for BHXN. We propose to continue
this program, with the goals of understanding the relative number of
BH vs. NS X-ray binaries in the M31 bulge, and determining the orbital
period distribution and duty cycles of these BHXN. Continued
observations can determine the duty cycle. The new ACS will allow us
to go 2 mags deeper than the WFPC2, and could triple the number of
optical counterparts and therefore orbital period estimates. M31 is
the only galaxy near enough to allow this extragalactic survey for
BHXN.

ACS/WFC 9788

A Narrow-band Snapshot Survey of Nearby Galaxies

We propose to use ACS/WFC to conduct the first comprehensive HST
narrow-band {H-alpha + [N II]} imaging survey of the central regions
of nearby bulge-dominated disk {S0 to Sbc} galaxies. This survey will
cover, at high angular resolution extending over a large field, an
unprecedented number of galaxies representing many different
environments. It will have important applications for many
astrophysical problems of current interest, and it will be an
invaluable addition to the HST legacy. The observations will be
conducted in snapshot mode, drawing targets from a complete sample of
145 galaxies selected from the Palomar spectroscopic survey of nearby
galaxies. Our group will use the data for two primary applications.
First, we will search for nuclear emission-line disks suitable for
future kinematic measurements with STIS, in order to better constrain
the recently discovered relations between black hole mass and bulge
properties. Preliminary imaging of the type proposed here must be
done, sooner or later, if we are to make progress in this exciting new
field. Second, we will investigate a number of issues related to
extragalactic star formation. Specifically, we will systematically
characterize the properties of H II regions and super star clusters on
all galactic scales, from circumnuclear regions to the large-scale
disk.

NIC2 9801

Are OH/IR Stars the Youngest post-AGB stars? A NICMOS Imaging Survey

Essentially all well-characterized preplanetary nebulae {PPNe}–
objects in transition between the AGB and planetary nebula
evolutionary phases – are bipolar, whereas the mass-loss envelopes of
AGB stars are strikingly spherical. In order to understand the
processes leading to bipolar mass-ejection, we need to know at what
stage of stellar evolution does bipolarity in the mass-loss first
manifest itself. We have recently hypothesized that most OH/IR stars
{evolved mass- losing stars with OH maser emission} are very young
PPNe. We are conducting a multiwavelength survey program of imaging
and spectroscopic observations of such objects, using a large,
morphologically unbiased sample selected using IRAS 12-to-25 micron
colors. Our ongoing HST/SNAP imaging survey of the optically bright
half of this sample with WFPC2 and ACS is highly successful: 19/32
objects observed are extended with bipolar/multipolar shapes
{remaining objects are unresolved}. Slightly more than 50% of our
sample are optically too faint or undetected but have strong near-IR
counterparts — we therefore propose a NICMOS SNAPshot imaging survey
of these optically-faint OH/IR stars. These observations are crucial
for determining how and when the bipolar geometry asserts itself. The
results from our NICMOS survey {together with the WFPC2/ACS survey}
will allow us to draw general conclusions about the onset of bipolar
mass-ejection during late stellar evolution. Our complementary program
of interferometric mapping of the OH maser emission in our sources is
yielding kinematic information with spatial resolution comparable to
that in the HST images. The HST/radio data will provide crucial input
for theories of post-AGB stellar evolution. In addition, these data
will also indicate whether the multiple concentric rings, "searchlight
beams”, and truncated equatorial disks recently discovered with HST
in a few PPNe, are common or rare phenomena.

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 8790

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 9633

STIS parallel archive proposal – Nearby Galaxies – Imaging and
Spectroscopy

Using parallel opportunities with STIS which were not allocated by the
TAC, we propose to obtain deep STIS imagery with both the Clear
{50CCD} and Long-Pass {F28X50LP} filters in order to make
color-magnitude diagrams and luminosity functions for nearby galaxies.
For local group galaxies, we also include G750L slitless spectroscopy
to search for e.g., Carbon stars, late M giants and S-type stars. 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.

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.

STIS/CCD 10022

STIS CCD Hot Pixel Annealing Cycle 12

The effectiveness of the CCD hot pixel annealing process is assessed
by measuring the dark current behavior before and after annealing and
by searching for any window contamination effects. In addition CTE
performance is examined by looking for traps in a low signal level
flat. Follows on from proposal 9612.

STIS/CCD 10085

STIS Pure Parallel Imaging Program: Cycle 12

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

STIS/CCD 9981

The Ultra Deep Field – STIS parallels

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

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
pixels.

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.