Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3598

By SpaceRef Editor
April 27, 2004
Filed under , ,
NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3598

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science




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.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 9996

Flats Stability

This calibration proposal is the Cycle 12 NICMOS bi-monthly monitor A
series of camera 1, 2, & 3 flat fields will be obtained to monitor the
health of the cameras.


Volatile Abundances and the D/H Ratio in Long-Period Comets

Comet NEAT {C/2001 Q4} is predicted to reach naked-eye visibility in
the spring of 2004, under excellent conditions for observations with
HST. Although predicting cometary magnitudes more than 1 year in
advance is notoriously risky, C/NEAT seems likely to be exceptionally
active, allowing us for the first time to perform sensitive
measurements of the D/H and OD/OH ratios. Accurate measurements of the
deuterium abundance in comets, which can vary in different species,
are crucial for determining if comets retain a signature of their
possible interstellar origin and if they supplied a significant
fraction of the water on Earth. HST observations of C/NEAT will
additionally provide accurate abundances for highly volatile ices in
the nucleus, such as CO, CO2 {via Cameron band emission}, and S2,
which also provide important insights on the comet’s origin and
evolution. This opportunity in cycle 12 is unique in the history of
HST and is unlikely to be repeated during its remaining lifetime.

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.

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.


Anomalous Flux Ratios in Quadruple Gravitationally Lensed QSOs

We propose to observe eight {8} gravitationally lensed systems which
exhibit quadruple images of the background high redshift quasars.
Models invoking a smooth potential fit the observed image positions
accurately, in most cases better than 5 milliarcseconds. But the same
models dramatically fail to predict the observed flux ratios. These
anomalous flux ratios can be attributed to micro- or milli-lensing in
the massive lensing halo. In this proposal, we will isolate the source
of the anomalous flux ratios by using the superior resolution of
HST/STIS to obtain spectrophotometric data and compare the emission
line flux ratio of the QSOs to the continuum flux ratios. Due to the
much larger size of the broad emission line regions, the flux ratios
in the emission lines should only be affected by milli-lensing if the
sub-halos are comparable or larger in projected size than the source
region. That is, flux ratios observed in the QSO continuum are
senstive to substructure on all scales {both micro- and
milli-lensing}, while the broad emission lines are insensitive to
micro-lensing due to the larger physical size of the source emission
region. This sample of eight quasars will provide the definitive
evidence to distinguish between possible sources causing the observed
anomalous flux ratios.


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

ACS/WFC 9811

Establishing the Metallicity Distribution in Normal Giant Ellipticals

NGC 3377 and 3379, the Leo Group ellipticals at d=11 Mpc, are the
nearest E galaxies commonly regarded to be structurally" normal", and
as such, they are keystone objects for understanding the evolution and
early star formation history of large ellipticals. The ACS/WFC camera
now gives us the ability to obtain the metallicity distribution
function {MDF} of their stellar population by direct resolution and
photometry of their halo stars. To do this, we will follow the same
highly successful techniques we have previously used for NGC 5128 with
WFPC2 {V, I} imaging: the {V-I} colors of the brightest red-giant
stars are highly sensitive to metallicity, and their locations in the
color-magnitude diagram can be used for direct construction of the
MDF. This will be a major step forward to understanding the formation
history of these cosmologically dominant galaxies.

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.

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


Young Massive Clusters in Spiral Galaxies and the Connection with Open

We propose to carry out a census of star clusters in the disks of the
nearby spiral galaxies NGC 45, NGC 1313, NGC 4395, NGC 5236 and NGC
7793. Using ACS, we will identify much fainter and older star clusters
than possible in previous ground-based surveys, or even in HST imaging
of more distant galaxies. For the first time, we will directly explore
the connection between young "massive” {or "super”} star clusters
{YMCs} and lower-mass "open” clusters in different star forming
environments. We will test the universality of the luminosity- and
mass functions of stellar clusters and establish whether the presence
of YMCs is a result of a top-heavy cluster luminosity function, or
follows from generally richer cluster systems. Our target galaxies
span a range of morphological properties, surface brightness and star
formation rate. Some of them are known from ground-based studies to
host large numbers of YMCs while others have more modest cluster
populations. However, previous ground-based data were restricted to
luminous clusters younger than about 500 Myr. Here we will extend the
search to clusters formed throughout the entire lifetime of each
galaxy and reach clusters with properties typical of the Milky Way
open clusters. This will allow us to close the gap between studies of
extragalactic and Galactic disk clusters.

ACS/WFC 9766

The Globular Cluster Systems of Spiral Galaxies along the Hubble

While the globular cluster {GC} systems of ellipticals and ongoing
mergers have been relatively well-studied with HST, very little is
known about the GC systems of spirals besides the Milky Way and M31.
To constrain GC/galaxy formation models, especially where spirals are
the merger progenitors of ellipticals, it is crucial to understand
their GC properties. We propose to obtain ACS images of three edge-on
spirals, spanning the Hubble sequence, with Keck spectroscopic
follow-up. This will effectively double the number of well-studied
spiral systems. We will detect 100-200 GCs per galaxy, sufficient to
reveal GC subpopulations, their relative numbers, radial trends, and
dependences on Hubble type {e.g., a bulge vs. disk origin for red
GCs}. For half of our GCs we will be able to measure individual sizes.
By providing a much-needed comparative benchmark, these data will
allow researchers to better exploit the large existing HST database of
GCs in E/S0 galaxies.

NIC2 9726

A NICMOS search for obscured supernovae in starburst galaxies

Recent near-IR monitoring campaigns were successful in detecting
obscured supernovae {SNe} in starburst galaxies. The inferred SN rate
is much higher than that obtained in previous optical campaigns, but
it is still significantly lower than expected by the high level star
formation of these systems. One possible explanation for the shortage
of SNe is that most of them occur in the nuclear region, where the
limited angular resolution of groundbased observations prevents their
detection. We propose NICMOS SNAP observations of a sample of
starburst galaxies already observed once by NICMOS, with the goal of
exploiting its sensitivity and angular resolution to detect nuclear
obscured SNe which might have been missed by groundbased surveys.
These observation will allow to assess the real SN rate in starbust
galaxies and deliver a sample of SN occurring in the extreme
environment of galactic nuclei. We expect to detect more than 55 SNe
{if the whole sample is observed}. If the number of SNe detected in
the program is much lower than expected it would prompt for a revision
of our understanding of the relation between the star formation rate
and the SN rate.


Towards a global understanding of accretion physics – Clues from an UV
spectroscopic survey of cataclysmic variables

Accretion inflows and outflows are fundamental phenomena in a wide
variety of astrophysical environments, such as Young Stellar Objects,
galactic binaries, and AGN. Observationally, cataclysmic variables
{CVs} are particularly well suited for the study of accretion
processes. We are currently carrying out a Cycle 11 STIS UV
spectroscopic snapshot survey of CVs to fully exploit the diagnostic
potential of these objects for our understanding of accretion physics.
While the data obtained so far are of excellent quality, the number of
targets that will be observed in Cycle 11 is too small for a
statistically significant analysis {only 19 objects out of our 149
accepted Cycle 11 snapshot targets have been observed at the time of
writing}. We propose here to extend this survey into Cycle 12,
building a homogenous database of accretion disc and wind outflow
spectra covering a wide range of mass transfer rates and binary
inclinations. We will analyze these spectra with state-of-the-art
accretion disc model spectra {SYNDISK}, testing our current knowledge
of the accretion disc structure, and, thereby, providing new insight
into the so far not well understood process of viscous dissipation. We
will use our parameterised wind model PYTHON for the analysis of the
radiation driven accretion disc wind spectra, assessing the
fundamental question whether the mass loss rate correlates with the
disc luminosity. In addition, our survey data will identify a number
of systems in which the white dwarf significantly contributes to the
UV flux, permitting an analysis of the impact of mass accretion on the
evolution of these compact stars. This survey will triple the number
of currently available high-quality accretion disc / wind outflow /
accreting white dwarf spectra, and we waive our proprietary rights to
permit a timely use of this database.

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.

S/C 10093

Test of Filter Wheel Flight Software Update {ACS}

This test will be run following the installation of a flight software
change which will position the filter wheels more accurately. It
incorporates an ACS anneal and will substitute for one of the routine
anneals that are carried out every four weeks. A series of internal
flats will be taken with several filters. The exposures will be just
long enough to obtain engineering data concerning the wheel positions.
One external earth flat will also be taken to provide visual
confirmation that the filter is correctly aligned. In the event of a
problem being found, an operations request will be issued to revert to
the original software. There are several requirements affecting timing
and real-time contact. 1. Visit 1 must be scheduled to start within 12
hours of an SMS boundary. 2. Engineering telemetry contact must be
available during visits 4, 5 and 6 3. An uplink opportunity must be
available, at least 30 minutes after execution of the test, i.e.
completion of visits 4, 5 and 6 {visit 7 should have several orbit gap
from the last of 4, 5 and 6. 4. Visit 7 may not proceed, nor may any
other ACS observation take place after the start of visit 1 until the
uplink opportunity has occurred.

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


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 10057

ACS Ramp Filter Calibration

We request 3 orbits to observe a well-calibrated region in the Orion
Nebula with the primary goal of deriving monochromatic L-flats at
specific central wavelengths {lambda_c} for {a} WFC {inner+outer}
Halpha {FR716N, FR782N} and [OIII] {FR551N, FR601N} ramp filters. {b}
WFC middle ramp filters {FR388N, FR459M, FR505N, FR6546N, FR914M}.{c}
HRC middle ramp filters {FR388N, FR459M, FR505N, FR656N, FR914M}. As a
secondary goal, we will get an independent check of the wavelength
calibration which will be provided by the IDT team from the Cycle 11
program 9671. We request 1.5 CVZ orbits to observe two well-calibrated
standard star fields in 47 Tuc with the primary goal of deriving WFC
and HRC continuum L-flats for three middle {WFC1-MRAMP} filters:
FR656N, FR388N, and FR505N. These filters are selected as they are
frequently used to map the Halpha 6563 A, [OII] 3727A, and [OIII]
5007A lines and they include the least {FR388N} and most {FR505N}
uniform ramps, based on ground data {ISR ACS 02-01}. These 3 filters
should provide a good baseline for testing our approach and gauging
the range of non-uniformity in the continuum L-flats. For good spatial
sampling, the 2 fields are selected with stellar densities appropriate
to WFC and HRC. For good spectral sampling we will step in the central
wavelength in steps of 80 A, with 30s exposure at each lambda_c
providing good S/N for V=15-20 mag stars. We will use 2K subarrays to
reduce the frequency of buffer dumps.

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 10018

CCD Dark Monitor-Part 2

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

FGS 10010

Long Term Monitoring of FGS1r in Position Mode

It is known from our experience with FGS3, and later with FGS1r, that
an FGS on orbit experiences long term evolution, presumably due to
disorption of water from the instrument’s graphite epoxy composites.
This manifests principally as a change in the plate scale and
secondarily as a change in the geometric distortions. These effects
are well modeled by adjustments to the rhoA and kA parameters which
are used to transform the star selector servo angles into FGS {x, y}
detector space coordinates. By observing the relative positions of
selected stars in a standard cluster at a fixed telescope pointing and
orientation, the evolution of rhoA and kA can be monitored and
calibrated to preserve the astrometric performance of FGS1r.


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

HSTAR 9395: GS Acquisition (1,2,2) @ 115/05:48:30Z (during ZOE)
resulted in FL backup (1,0,1). When acquired data @ 115/06:24:30Z,
there were no flags indicating SSLE on any FGS. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9396: After a FHST Full Maneuver Update scheduled @
116/21:15:37Z passed, U23FM Update @ 116/21:18:22Z failed with Error
Box results indicating "2 FAILED". One 486 Status Buffer 901 message
was observed, first one @ 116/21:19:13Z. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9398: The first FHST U2,3FM Update @ 117/08:50:56Z failed with
Error Box results indicating "3 FAILED". The second Update @
117/08:53:41Z was a success. Under investigation.


  • 17142-1 Genslew for proposal 9906 – slot 8 @114/1535z
  • 17143-0 Genslew for proposal 9906 – slot 9 @114/1535z
  • 17144-0 Genslew for proposal 9906 – slot 10 @114/1539z
  • 17140-0 FSW TDRSS-W Elements updates @114/1707z
  • 17145-0 Genslew for proposal 9906 slot 11 @114/1829z
  • 17151-0 "ZERO Slot 11" @114/1839z
  • 17152-0 Genslew for proposal 9906 slot 11 @114/2214z
  • 17148-1 Genslew for proposal 9987 – slot 12 @114/2216z
  • 17149-1 Genslew for proposal 9987 – slot 13 @114/2218z
  • 17150-1 Genslew for proposal 9987 – slot 14 @114/2221z
  • 17139-0 Quick update PROC for supporting ATDRSS tracking @114/1733z

1211-0 Battery 2 Ground Limits for Capacity of March 29,2004 @115/2334z
1221-4 486/NSSC-1 FSW CFG (MODE SWITCH) @116/0903z

                        SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
FGS GSacq             31                       31
FGS REacq             13                       13
Update           60                       58 


Successfully uplinked and verified a new set of orbital elements for
TDW (TDRS-8) @ 114/17:07Z (OR 17140-1 with attached IP-60 FSW
Installation procedure and MEGG Timeline).

I&C SE successfully verified first transition of HGA spline maneuver
and Ephemeris Track for TDW (TDRS-8) @ 116/19:27:06Z. SMAR signal
strength levels were nominal, as well as telemetry. HGA gimbal angles
matched predicted. One bad count on HGA 1Y-gimbal axis occurred
around the TDRSS ephemeris track transition. This is a known
phenomena which occurs periodically when an antenna and vehicle slew
occur simultaneously. Reference Ops Note 901-4 "Known/Routine Limit
Violations" for additional information.

As ACS emerged from its monthly anneal cycles @ 116/22:03Z, ACS FSW
CS4.0 was active with no errors or anomalous behavior. The new Filter
Wheel positioning algorithm was working as expected. All Filter
Wheels initialized correctly and performed as expected during the
following Filter Wheel test. The new Filter Wheel positioning
algorithm met its Pass/Fail criteria and no action is desired to
inhibit the new Filter Wheel algorithm at this time.

Executed GENSLEWs for Proposal 09906 "Volatile Abundances and the D/H
Ratio in Long-Period Comets" to adjust spacecraft pointing for comet
ephemeris slip. Slot 8 @ 114/15:35Z, Slot 9 @ 114/15:35Z, Slot 10 @
114/15:39Z, Slot 11 @ 114/18:29Z, Zero Slot 11 @ 114/18:39Z, Slot 11 @
114/22:14Z, Slot 12 @ 114/22:16Z, Slot 13 @ 114/22:18Z, and Slot 14 @
114/22:21Z (ORs 17142-1 – 17150-1, respectively).

SpaceRef staff editor.