Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3613

By SpaceRef Editor
May 17, 2004
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HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science




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.


Recombination Lines and Temperature Structure in Planetary Nebulae

A high-spatial resolution study of recombination lines {RLs} in bright
compact planetary nebulae {PNs} is proposed. Many PNs show a large
discrepancy between abundances derived from O II RLs and those derived
from [O III]. Others show little or no discrepancy. The PNs with small
discrepancies are more compact and high surface brightness. This
program seeks to understand why PNs show such differences by studying
the RLs at high spatial resolution in the compact PNs NGC 6572 and NGC
6790, which show no discrepancy between O II and [O III], to compare
with ground-based studies of the larger PNs NGC 6153 and NGC 6720. The
goal is to determine if the distribution of RL emission in NGC 6572
and NGC 6790 is more consistent with radiative recombination than in
NGC 6720, where the RL emission is more centrally peaked than [O III].
This will allow us to demonstrate whether or not it is the RLs that
are preferentially enhanced in the nebulae with large discrepancies.
The Cat’s Eye nebula NGC 6543 will also be observed, to determine if
the enhanced RL emission is connected to the presence of X-ray
emitting gas, as might be expected if the enhanced RLs are a result of
high temperature dielectronic recombination.

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.

ACS/HRC 9746

Binary systems in the Kuiper Belt

The properties of the orbits of Kuiper belt object {KBO} satellites
hold keys to fundamental insight into masses and densities of KBOs,
the interaction history of the early solar system, the internal
structure of distant ice-rock bodies, and even the genesis of the
Pluto-Charon binary. Within the past 18 months, 9 KBO satellite
systems have been discovered, allowing for the first time the
possibility of characterizing a sample of KBO satellite orbital
properties. We propose HRC observations to determine satellite orbits
in the 6 best cases. We have carefully devised a strategy for each of
these 6 systems to make maximum use of ground-based observations,
previous HST observations, and the smallest possible number of new HST
observations. Our proposed observations will efficiently provide
highly reliable orbital solutions which are critical to achieving the
scientific promise available from the study of these systems. Our
strategy relies heavily on extensive Monte Carlo simulations to define
optimal times of observing such that each new point obtained gives
maximum leverage for refining the orbital solution. We find that with
this strategy we can provide mass solutions for all 6 systems to an
accuracy of better than 10% using only 25 new HST observations. This
highly efficient program provides extreme scientific output with
optimal use of scarce resources.

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 10337

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels. This program is a
companion to program 10092.


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

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.

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 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.


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

HSTAR 9417: GS Acquisition (2,1,2) @ 136/15:18:58Z ended in FL backup
on FGS 2 due to SSLE on FGS 2 @ 136/15:22:27Z. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9418: Saved FGS Error Null Bias (QSFGENB0), during successful GS
Acquisition (2,1,2) @ 137/16:09:20Z, flagged OOL with a value of
-1770.975 arcsec. Under investigation.


OPS NOTES EXECUTED: 1234-0 – TDW Cross-support tracking (T77 CODE) @
135/1756z, 136/0040z, 136/0403z, 136/1938z, 136/2125z, 137/0223z,
137/0415z, 137/1806z, 137/1940z, 137/2110z, 138/0044z, 138/0222z
1235-0 – Change Limits MAMA2 Threshold Voltage @ 136/2308z, 138/0838z

                           SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
GSacq               31                           31
FGS REacq               22                           22
FHST Update            28                           28


SMS138O00 begins the use of reduced FGS Earth avoidance angles: Bright
Earth avoidance angle went from 15.5 to 13.5 degrees. Dark Earth
avoidance angle went from 7.6 to 6.0 degrees.

SpaceRef staff editor.