Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3573

By SpaceRef Editor
March 21, 2004
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science





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.


Galaxy Evolution in Action : The Detailed Morphology of Post-Starburst

If galaxies evolve morphologically, then some should be in transition
between late and early types. One proposed evolutionary mechanism is a
galaxy-galaxy merger, but evolved merger products are difficult to
find. Fortunately, spectroscopic surveys have now uncovered large
numbers of E+A galaxies, a class of objects whose post-starburst
spectra, current lack of HI gas, and pressure-supported kinematics
suggest that they are the missing panel that connects the "Toomre
sequence" of merging spirals with normal ellipticals and S0s. Our
first HST observations of five of these galaxies are intriguing. We
find a considerable range of tidally disturbed morphologies, an "E+A"
fundamental plane, significant differences among the color gradients
within 1 kpc {~0.8”}, and populations of bright, blue globular
clusters. These initial results are difficult to interpret, however,
because they are drawn from a small sample of galaxies whose very blue
overall colors may have selected a particular evolutionary path of
E+As. Here we propose for ACS imaging of the remaining 15 E+As from
the Las Campanas Redshift Survey to probe the full range of E+A
properties. The proposed observations will allow us to 1} determine
what fraction of the interactions that lead to E+As destroy all
disk-like structures {and therefore necessarily lead to elliptical
formation}, 2} measure the inner color gradients and constrain the
spatial distribution of stars produced as gas sinks to the center
during a merger, and 3} determine whether these interactions produce
globular clusters in the required numbers to account for the increased
specific frequency of clusters in early-type galaxies.


Morphologies of EROs and Field Galaxies in SIRTF’s First Look Survey:
A Rich Early Release Dataset

The SIRTF First Look Survey {FLS} will be the first scientific program
undertaken with NASA’s next Great Observatory. The FLS provides the
first large sample of dusty galaxies to redshifts to z < 2 and a
census of large-scale global IR properties {luminosities, color
temperatures, total dust mass, etc.} HST observations to measure
morphology are critical to provide insight into the mechanisms which
build up the various galaxy components–disks, bulges as well as
chaotic morphologies. We will measure quantitative morphology of fifty
extremely red objects {EROs} with targeted NICMOS pointings and
hundreds of field galaxies with ACS in parallel in the FLS. We aim to
understand how EROs fit into the evolutionary sequence of galaxy
formation. The combined HST and SIRTF observations will provide clues
into the physical processes responsible for generating powerful far-IR
sources or, conversely, may explain why some galaxies are inactive in
the far-IR. Ancillary ground-based optical, near-IR, and radio data
have already been obtained and DEIMOS spectra are scheduled for June,
2003. We waive the proprietary period for the HST observations and if
executed early in Cycle 12 the FLS will be the first complete
SIRTF+HST survey made available to the astronomical community, well in
advance of the majority of the Legacy observations and all of the GTO

ACS/WFC 10043

External CTE Monitor

Monitor CTE changes during cycle 11. Determine CTE.

ACS/WFC 9575

Default {Archival} Pure Parallel Program.

The Advanced Camera for Surveys (WFC) was used to test ACS pure
parallels in POMS.

ACS/WFC 9756

The Parallax of Geminga

The distances to neutron stars are a fundamental parameter that
impacts estimates of radii and luminosities, both of which have
important ramifications for neutron star heating and cooling and for
the equation of state of nuclear matter. A radius measured to 5%
accuracy will provide useful astrophysical constraints on the equation
of matter at nuclear densities. This requires an accurate measurement
of the distance. Caraveo et al. have reported a distance to the
isolated pulsar Geminga based on three WFPC2 images. We have not been
able to reproduce that result. We request time with the ACS/WFC over
the next two years to obtain 4 images in order to determine the
parallax of Geminga. In addition to the general importance of
understanding neutron star radii and luminosities, this will provide
specific insights into the history of gamma ray pulsars in general,
and of Geminga itself.

ACS/WFC 9892

H-alpha Snapshots of Nearby Galaxies observed in F300W: Quantifying
Star Formation in a Dusty Universe

Previous studies of nearby galaxies show large discrepancies between
different star formation {SF} indicators on large {>100 pc, or even
global} scales: the strikingly complex interplay of young stars, dust
and ionized gas are the primary cause of this variance. The few
galaxies in the HST Archive with both WFPC2 H-alpha and mid-UV {F255W
or F300W} imaging show this complex geometry extending down to <10 pc
scales. We propose a SNAPshot survey in the ACS/WFC H-alpha filter of
48 galaxies of all Hubble types, that are nearby but beyond the Local
Group, and that were previously imaged with WFPC2 in the mid-UV and in
F814W. We aim to provide a benchmark for understanding the SF
processes in both normal and star-bursting galaxies, at spatial
resolutions unattainable from the ground for a large and varied galaxy
sample. These data can be applied to a wide range of astrophysical
problems and will, therefore, be made public immediately. Our science
goals are to: {1} spatially resolve the dust clouds and filaments
which strongly affect mid-UV and H-alpha derived SF rates, {2} test
how the large-scale correlation between H-alpha and mid-UV flux breaks
down on pc scales, and {3} model the propagation of star formation by
comparing the SF over time scales of ~100 Myr {via mid-UV} and ~5 Myr
{via H-alpha}. This will {4} significantly improve our insight into,
and calibration of SF in UV-bright galaxies at high z, and into the
cosmic SF history.


The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey

We will undertake a 2 square degree imaging survey {Cosmic Evolution
Survey — COSMOS} with ACS in the I {F814W} band of the VIMOS
equatorial field. This wide field survey is essential to understand
the interplay between Large Scale Structure {LSS} evolution and the
formation of galaxies, dark matter and AGNs and is the one region of
parameter space completely unexplored at present by HST. The
equatorial field was selected for its accessibility to all
ground-based telescopes and low IR background and because it will
eventually contain ~100, 000 galaxy spectra from the VLT-VIMOS
instrument. The imaging will detect over 2 million objects with I> 27
mag {AB, 10 sigma}, over 35, 000 Lyman Break Galaxies {LBGs} and
extremely red galaxies out to z ~ 5. COSMOS is the only HST project
specifically designed to probe the formation and evolution of
structures ranging from galaxies up to Coma-size clusters in the epoch
of peak galaxy, AGN, star and cluster formation {z ~0.5 to 3}. The
size of the largest structures necessitate the 2 degree field. Our
team is committed to the assembly of several public ancillary datasets
including the optical spectra, deep XMM and VLA imaging, ground-based
optical/IR imaging, UV imaging from GALEX and IR data from SIRTF.
Combining the full-spectrum multiwavelength imaging and spectroscopic
coverage with ACS sub-kpc resolution, COSMOS will be Hubble’s ultimate
legacy for understanding the evolution of both the visible and dark

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.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8792

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 3

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.

NIC3 9824

NIC3 SNAPs of nearby galaxies imaged in the mid-UV: the remarkable
cool stellar population in late-type galaxies.

We propose a NIC3 H-band {F160W} SNAPshot survey of 48 nearby mid- to
late-type galaxies covering all inclinations. In Cycle 9 and 10, we
imaged ~100 galaxies in the mid-UV {F300W/F255W} and I-band {F814W}
with WFPC2, and obtained UBVR CCD surface photometry from the ground.
Early-mid-type galaxies show the usual small radial color-gradients,
where disks become somewhat bluer at larger radii. But, remarkably,
the majority of {lower luminosity, smaller and rounder} late-type
galaxies shows the opposite trend and becomes redder outwards in all
filters. While young UV/blue-bright stellar populations dominate their
inner morphology, most late-type galaxies must have a significant halo
or thick disk of older stars. Combining our proposed NIC3 H-band with
existing WFPC2 images will span the wavelength range 0.29-1.6 micron
at resolutions of 0.04-0.16" {FWHM}. This Panchromatic Nearby Galaxy
Atlas will be applicable to a wide range of problems, and will be made
public immediately. Our NIC3/F160W science goals are to: {1} Establish
the nature of the old outer stellar population. All target galaxies
have z<0.005, allowing us to resolve any luminous, cool supergiant
population. NIC3 is essential to make a pixel-to-pixel color-magnitude
study of the nature, distribution and uniformity of the outer stellar
populations, which will constrain dwarf galaxy formation theories. {2}
Determine galaxy structure at 5-20 pc resolution, tracing the old
stellar population and mass distribution compared to the star-forming
regions seen in the mid-UV. A range of inclinations is needed to
distinguish between old thick disks or halos in late-type galaxies.
{3} Make a multi-wavelength pixel-to-pixel decomposition to help
delineate the effects of dust, age, and metallicity. Since we must
cover a range of inclinations, NIC3 H-band is essential to map the
effects from dust, and see how these may affect the studies of {1} and

NIC3 9999

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels. This program is a
companion to program 9822.

STIS/CCD 10018

CCD Dark Monitor-Part 2

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

STIS/CCD 10020

CCD Bias Monitor – Part 2

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/MA1 10031

STIS MAMA Cycle 12 Deep Wavecals

This program will obtain deep wavecals for the STIS Echelle modes in
order to produce improved dispersions solutions. The new wavelength
solution is based on a physical model of the instrument’s optical
elements and will supercede the empirical polynomial fit. This work is
part of the STIS Calibration Enhancement project conducted at the
ST-ECF. Deep wavecals are required in order to take full advantage of
the new line list from the ESA -funded Pt/Cr-Ne calibration lamp
project and to test the predictive power of physical instrument model
of STIS. A second epoch of observations will investigate the issue of
MSM repeatability.

WFPC2 10070

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Supplemental Darks Part 2/3

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

WFPC2 10084

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 9634

POMS Test Proposal: WFII targeted parallel archive proposal

The parallel opportunities available with WFPC2 in the neighborhood of
bright galaxies are treated in a slightly different way from the
normal pure parallels. Local Group galaxies offer the opportunity for
a closer look at young stellar populations. Narrow-band images in
F656N can be used both to identify young stars via their emission
lines, and to map the gas distribution in star-forming regions. Thus,
the filter F656N is added to the four standard filters. Near more
distant galaxies, up to about 10 Mpc, we can map the population of
globular clusters; for this purpose, F300W is less useful, and only
F450W, F606W, and F814W will be used.


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

HSTAR 9357: OTA SE review of PTAS processing log for M_SA068O SMS
revealed GS Acquisition (1,2,1) @ 073/03:53:43Z resulted in FL backup
due to SSLE on FGS 2. Under investigation.

17097-1 – Off-line +D SPAs @ 078/1308z

1160-2 – Default Configuration for TMDIAG’s @ 078/1312z

                            SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
FGS GSacq                 9                         9
FGS REacq                 10                       10
FHST Update               13                       13


Flash Report: +D SPA Off-line

On DOY 2004/078, Ops Request 17097-1 was successfully executed to
off-line the +D SPA trim relay in the PCU-R and in SSM486 flight
software (TRSWCC and macros). Commanding was successfully completed
during the first uplink opportunity at approximately 13:07 GMT.
Following the uplink, EPS SE monitored power system operations from
the console in the MOR for two orbits to verify nominal operation of
TRSWCC (+D SPA trim relay disconnected, commanded relay order upon
trickle charge initiation, etc). During the first and second orbits
following the uplink, the batteries experienced trickle charge
durations of 24 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively. EPS SEs will
continue close monitoring of power system performance, especially
battery temperatures and pressures, to assess the effects of this

SpaceRef staff editor.