Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3525

By SpaceRef Editor
January 7, 2004
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ACS 9984

Cosmic Shear With ACS Pure Parallels

Small distortions in the shapes of background galaxies by foreground
mass provide a powerful method of directly measuring the amount and
distribution of dark matter. Several groups have recently detected
this weak lensing by large-scale structure, also called cosmic shear.
The high resolution and sensitivity of HST/ACS provide a unique
opportunity to measure cosmic shear accurately on small scales. Using
260 parallel orbits in Sloan textiti {F775W} we will measure for the
first time: beginlistosetlength sep0cm setlengthemsep0cm setlength
opsep0cm em the cosmic shear variance on scales <0.7 arcmin, em the
skewness of the shear distribution, and em the magnification effect.
endlist Our measurements will determine the amplitude of the mass
power spectrum sigma_8Omega_m^0.5, with signal-to-noise {s/n} ~ 20,
and the mass density Omega_m with s/n=4. They will be done at small
angular scales where non-linear effects dominate the power spectrum,
providing a test of the gravitational instability paradigm for
structure formation. Measurements on these scales are not possible
from the ground, because of the systematic effects induced by PSF
smearing from seeing. Having many independent lines of sight reduces
the uncertainty due to cosmic variance, making parallel observations


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 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


The local Hubble flow and the density field within 6 Mpc

Great progress has been made recently in accurate distance
measurements of nearby galaxies beyond the Local Group based on the
luminosity of the tip of the red giant branch {TRGB}. Over the last
three years, snapshot surveys with HST have provided us with the TRGB
distances for more than a hundred nearby galaxies obtained with an
accuracy of about 10%. The local velocity field within 5 Mpc exhibits
a significant anisotropy which disagrees with a spherical
Virgo-centric flow. The local Hubble flow is very cold, with 1-D rms
deviations of ~30 km/s. Cosmological simulations with Cold Dark Matter
can only realize such low dispersions with a combination of a low mean
density of matter and a substantial component with negative pressure.
There may be a constraint on the equation of state w=-p/rho. Our
observations will concentrate on 116 galaxies whose expected distances
lie within 4 – 6 Mpc, allowing us to trace a Dark Matter distribution
in the Local Volume with twice the information currently available.
The program is a good one for SNAP mode because the order and rate
that the observations are made are not very important, as long as
there is good completion over several years.


Gravitational Microlensing in the NGC 3314A-B Galaxy Pair

Determining the composition of the dark matter that dominates the
masses of galaxies is an important unsolved problem, and the results
of the MACHO Collaboration suggest that some of Milky Way’s dark
matter may be in the form of very old white dwarfs. However, some have
argued that the excess of microlensing events seen by MACHO are due to
a larger than expected microlensing rate for lens stars in the LMC
itself or its tidal debris. We propose to address this question by
detecting microlensing events in the line-of-sight galaxy pair NGC
3314 A & B. The large line-of-sight distance between these galaxies
gives an optical depth that is 3-4 orders of magnitude larger than if
the source stars and lenses were in the same galaxy, and the fact that
the background galaxy is a spiral ensures that there will be a
sufficient number of bright, non-variable source stars. Our proposed
observations should have the sensitivity to detect microlensing by
both ordinary stars and dark matter in NGC 3314A {the foreground
galaxy}. If there are dark matter microlensing events to be found,
they can be clearly distinguished from stellar microlensing events
because they will occur outside the visible disk of NGC 3314A. If
baryonic dark matter is detected in NGC 3314A, we will be able to map
its radial density variation.

FGS 9969

FGS Astrometry of the Extrasolar Planet of Epsilon Eridani

We propose observations with HST/FGS in Position Mode to determine the
astrometric elements {perturbation orbit semimajor axis and
inclination} of the candidate extra-solar planet around the K2 V star
Epsilon Eridani that has been detected by Doppler spectroscopy. These
observations will also permit us to determine the actual mass of the
planet by providing the sin{i} factor which can not be determined with
the radial velocity method. High precision radial velocity {RV}
measurements spanning the years 1980.8–2000.0 for the nearby {3.22
pc} star Epsilon Eri show convincing variations with a period of ~ 7
yrs. These data represent a combination of six independent data sets
taken with four different telescopes. A least squares orbital solution
using robust estimation yields orbital parameters of period, P = 6.9
yrs, velocity K- amplitude = 19 m/s, eccentricity e = 0.6, projected
companion mass M_B sin{i} = 0.83 M_Jupiter. An estimate of the
inclination yields a perturbation semi-major axis, Alpha = 0arcs0022,
easily within the reach of HST/FGS astrometry.

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.


NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 2

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. The keyword ‘USEAFTER=date/time’ will also be added to
the header of each POST-SAA DARK frame. The keyword must be populated
with the time, in addition to the date, because HST crosses the SAA ~8
times per day so each POST-SAA DARK will need to have the appropriate
time specified, for users to identify the ones they need. Both the raw
and processed images will be archived as POST-SAA DARKSs. Generally we
expect that all NICMOS science/calibration observations started within
50 minutes of leaving an SAA will need such maps to remove the CR
persistence from the science images. Each observation will need its
own CRMAP, as different SAA passages leave different imprints on the
NICMOS detectors.


The Origin of Gamma-Ray Bursts

The rapid and accurate localization of gamma-ray bursts {GRBs}
promised by a working HETE-2 during the coming year may well
revolutionize our ability to study these enigmatic, highly luminous
transients. We propose a program of HST and Chandra observations to
capitalize on this extraordinary opportunity. We will perform some of
the most stringent tests yet of the standard model, in which GRBs
represent collimated relativistic outflows from collapsing massive
stars. NICMOS imaging and STIS CCD spectroscopy will detect broad
atomic features of supernovae underlying GRB optical transients, at
luminosities more than three times fainter than SN 1998bw. UV,
optical, and X-ray spectroscopy will be used to study the local ISM
around the GRB. Chandra spectroscopy will investigate whether the GRB
X-ray lines are from metals freshly ripped from the stellar core by
the GRB. HST and CTIO infra-red imaging of the GRBs and their hosts
will be used to determine whether `dark’ bursts are the product of
unusually strong local extinction; imaging studies may for the first
time locate the hosts of `short’ GRBs. Our early polarimetry and
late-time broadband imaging will further test physical models of the
relativistic blast wave that produces the bright GRB afterglow, and
will provide unique insight into the influence of the GRB environment
on the afterglow.

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 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 10085

STIS Pure Parallel Imaging Program: Cycle 12

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

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 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 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.


Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary
reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be

HSTAR 9266: GS Acquisition (1,3,1) @ 364/15:33:19Z regressed to FL
back up. On review of N363 PTAS TC process log, OTA SE uncovered a GS
Acquisition (1,3,1) which went to FLBU (1,0,1) due to SSLE on FGS 1
during the first FL Walk Down attempt. The second attempt was
successful, but resulted in single star guiding due to GS acquisition.
Under investigation.

HSTAR 9268: GS Re-acquisition (1,2,2) @ 006/20:24:45Z failed its
first attempt due to an attitude error vector flag on FGS 1. Value of
QDVEFGS1 was -151.828 arcsec, high limit is -87.5 arcsec. The FGS
then successfully acquired FL on the second attempt. Under

17077-0 Off-line E and D SPAs @006/1606z
17079-2 Reconfigure NICMOS after suspend @006/2257z

1160-0 Default Configuration for TLMDIAGS @006/1808z
1187-0 HST486 FSW S/W Memory Dump @007/0150z
1158-2 Adjust NICMOS Error Count Limit (closed) @006/2217z

                       SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
FGS GSacq           06                        06
FGS REacq           09                        09
FHST Update         13                        13


Successfully completed Off-lining -E and -D SPAs @ 006/16:06Z (OR
17077 with attached IP-048 and IP-050 procedures). The -E and -D SPA
Trim Relays were opened in the PCU-R and TRSWCC and appropriate macros
were modified to keep the relays from closing during normal
operations. EPS monitored power system performance for two orbits to
verify nominal TRSWCC performance. During the first orbit day
following the uplink, there were 12 minutes of Trickle Charge with a
SA incidence angle of ~ 18?. During the second orbit day, there were
19 minutes of Trickle Charge with a SA incidence angle of ~ 17?.
Upon Trick Charge initiation, the -E and -D SPA Trim Relays remained
open and the other trim relays were commanded open in the proper
order. EPS will continue to monitor performance in the next several
weeks to asses how this configuration change has affected battery

Successfully completed NICMOS recovery from Suspend @ 006/21:57Z (OR
17079-2 with COP 19.12). At 006/22:10Z, all three NICMOS detectors
were powered on successfully via SPC. At 006/22:57Z, after waiting one
hour for the PAM sensors to stabilize, the PAM mechanism was
successfully commanded to PAM2 position., NICMOS Proposal 8791 began @

HST CCS Release Test Case 17, NSSC-1 and SI Operations
Regression Testing scheduled 007/11:00Z – 20:00Z with GDOC, HITT, SE,
and VEST using CCS "A" String with CCS Release and PRD
O06300T. The purpose of this testing is to verify the CCS Release supports normal NSSC-1 and SI commanding in an operational

SpaceRef staff editor.