Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3806

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2005
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT      # 3806



ACS/HRC 10255

A Never Before Explored Phase Space: Resolving Close White Dwarf / Red
Dwarf Binaries

We propose an ACS Snapshot imaging survey to resolve a well-defined
sample of highly probable white dwarf plus red dwarf close binaries.
These candidates were selected from a search for white dwarfs with
infrared excess from the 2MASS database. They represent unresolved
systems {separations less than approximately 2″ in the 2MASS images}
and are distributed over the whole sky. Our HST+ACS observations will
be sensitive to a separation range {1-20 AU} never before probed by
any means. The proposed study will be the first empirical test of
binary star parameters in the post-AGB phase, and cannot be
accomplished from the ground. By resolving as few as 20 of our ~100
targets with HST, we will be able to characterize the distribution of
orbital semi- major axes and secondary star masses.

ACS/HRC 10375

Stability of the ACS CCD: Flat fielding, Photometry, Geometry

This program will verify that the low frequency flat fielding, the
photometry, and the geometric distortion are stable in time and across
the field of view of the CCD detectors. A moderately crowded stellar
field, located ~6′ West of the center of the cluster 47 Tuc, is
observed every three months with the WFC and HRC using the full suite
of broad and narrow band filters. The same field has been observed
during SMOV to derive low frequency corrections to the ground flats
and to create a master catalogue of positions and magnitudes from
dithered observations of the cluster. In Cycles 11-12, this field was
observed again using single pointings at various roll angles. The
positions and magnitudes of objects are used to monitor local and
large scale variations in the plate scale and the sensitivity of the
detectors. The Cycle 13 program will continue to monitor these effects
and will derive an independent measure of the detector CTE.

ACS/HRC 10377

ACS Earth Flats

High signal sky flats will be obtained by observing the bright Earth
with the HRC and WFC. These observations will be used to verify the
accuracy of the flats currently used by the pipeline and will provide
a comparison with flats derived via other techniques: L- flats from
stellar observations, sky flats from stacked GO observations, and
internal flats using the calibration lamps. Weekly coronagraphic
monitoring is required to assess the changing position of the spots.

ACS/HRC 10401

A Proper Motion Search for Intermediate Mass Black Holes in Globular

Establishing the presence or absence of intermediate-mass black holes
{IMBH} in globular clusters is crucial for understanding the evolution
of dense stellar systems. We propose a systematic search for IMBHs by
conducting an imaging/proper motion study of the centers of five of
the closest, most centrally concentrated Galactic globular clusters.
ACS/HRC observations allow for accurate proper motion measurements for
stars all the way into the center of each cluster. Our approach
consists of exploiting the blue/near-ultraviolet wavelength range in
each of cycles 13 and 14, in order to dim both the bright red giants
and the background of faint red stars, hence alleviating the crowding
problems experienced by previous studies. Both filter and target
selection are critical for the success of this project, and no
previous HST program has an appropriate combination to allow proper
motion measurements for most stars into the very centers of crowded
clusters. The velocity measurements will allow us to: {i} place
constraints on the mass of a central black hole in each cluster
{detailed calculations show that the proposed observations are
sufficient to detect any central black hole with a mass as low as 3000
solar masses at the greater than 3 sigma level}; {ii} derive the
internal velocity dispersion as a function of cluster radius; {iii}
verify or reject previous reports of cluster rotation; and {iv}
directly measure any velocity anisotropy as a function of radius.


ACS CCDs daily monitor- cycle 13 – part 1

This program consists of a set of basic tests to monitor, the read
noise, the development of hot pixels and test for any source of noise
in ACS CCD detectors. The files, biases and dark will be used to
create reference files for science calibration. This programme will be
for the entire lifetime of ACS.

ACS/WFC 10217

The ACS Fornax Cluster Survey

The two rich clusters nearest to the Milky Way, and the only large
collections of early- type galaxies within ~ 25 Mpc, are the Virgo and
Fornax Clusters. We propose to exploit the exceptional imaging
capabilities of the ACS/WFC to carry out the most comprehensive
imaging survey to date of early-type galaxies in Fornax: the ACS
Fornax Cluster Survey. Deep ACS/WFC images — in the F475W {g’} and
F850LP {z’} bands — will be acquired for 44 E, S0, dE, dE, N and dS0
cluster members. In Cycle 11, we initiated a similar program targeting
early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster {the ACS Virgo Cluster
Survey; GO-9401}. Our proposed survey of Fornax would yield an
extraordinary dataset which would complement that already in hand for
Virgo, and allow a definitive study of the role played by environment
in the structure, formation and evolution of early-type galaxies and
their globular cluster systems, nuclei, stellar populations, dust
content, nuclear morphologies and merger histories. It would also be a
community resource for years to come and, together with the ACS Virgo
Cluster Survey, constitute one of the lasting legacies of HST.

ACS/WFC 10374

ACS photometric Stability

This program consists of three parts. In the first part we will
observe a subset of the ACS white dwarfs with HRC and ACS to verify
repeatability to ~0.2%, because the filter shifts are based on
photometric differences between stars of ~1%. These observations are
also required to establish relative magnitudes of the primary WD
standards at the 0.1% level. Targets should be GD153 and G191B2B,
which seems to have the largest V mag error of ~0.008 mag. One orbit
on the most important filters, including the grism and the prisms,
should be expended with each camera for both stars for a total of 4
orbits. In the second part will observe with HRC and WFC a solar
analog star, P330E, to estimate any shifts in the short and the long
wavelength cutoffs of selected filters. Complete filter bandpasses can
be derived directly from the ratio of grism observations with and
without the filter in place. The grism is on filter wheel 1, while
four filters of interest F330W, F344N, F660N, and F814W are on wheel
2. Each grism observation requires 3 settings: filter alone,
filter+grism, and grism alone. In the third part we obtain high S/N
photometric and spectroscopic observations of three red stars, VB-8
{M7}, 2M0038+18 {L3.5} and 2M0559-14 {T5} with HRC and WFC to verify
the photometry at the new standard position and to obtain accurate
calibration {1% or better} of the grism spectra.

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 10385

Spectrophotometry of Solar Analog Stars and Nicmos Grism Calibration

NICMOS IR Standards {4 orbits} In cycle 12, 24 orbits were used to
measure the NICMOS grism mode sensitivities and to establish a set of
IR flux standards with a goal of 1% accuracy. However, the G096
setting shows up to 5% peak-to-peak range among the sensitivities
derived from the three primary WD standards, as shown in Figure 1 {for
the Phase 1 proposal}. The possible causes of this large scatter
include changes in the flat field, a systematic change of sensitivity
with time, and a fundamental limitation of the repeatability for stars
at the WD flux levels. The same residuals for STIS in the 0.8- 1.0
micron overlap range are <1%, so that the problem is not with the fluxes for the three primary standard stars. Either there is a systematic trend in the Nicmos grism data that can be removed with more monitoring; or alternatively, repeating the cycle 12 observations should reduce the error in the mean sensitivity by sqrt{2}, if the deviations among the stars are random instrumental fluctuations. The NICMOS cycle 13 calibration program includes 2 orbits to repeat the observations of the bright standard BD+17d4708, which has a very high S/N, so that any change in its response should reflect an instrumental sensitivity difference between cycle 12 and 13. The four Nicmos orbits in this program include one each for GD71 and GD153 in G096 and G141, while two orbits are required for the repeat of G191B2B, where the G206 mode is also included.

NIC3/WFPC2 10403

Ultraviolet Imaging of the UDF

The Hubble Deep Field North has uninterrupted observations at
wavelengths from Far- UV through NICMOS H-band, but the UDF goes no
bluer than B-band. We propose to complete the UDF coverage with deep
ultraviolet imaging of the Ultra-Deep Field {UDF} with the ACS-SBC in
the Far-UV {1500 Angstrom} and WFPC2 in the Near-UV {F300W}. We will
reach point source limits of ABmag=28.5, a factor of ten fainter than
the GALEX ultradeep surveys. Our dataset will add to the value of the
UDF legacy, and requires the unique capabilities of HST. In the spirit
of the UDF, we submit this proposal in the Treasury category. We
request a modest allocation of observing time for a Treasury program:
62 orbits. We will provide science quality images and photometric
catalogs to enable a range of research topics by the community. The
science goals of the team are to investigate the episode of strong
star formation activity in galaxies out to z=1, through the rest-frame
FUV luminosity function and the internal color structure of galaxies.
Far-UV number counts suggest that moderate redshift {z~0.5} starbursts
are undergoing a single, rapid burst of star-formation. We will
investigate this result by measuring the faint-end slope, alpha, of
the luminosity function. We will measure the star formation properties
of moderate redshift starburst galaxies and compare their morphologies
in the UV, optical, and near-IR. This catalog of starbursts will also
be important to the astronomical community in correlating unobscured
star-formation with the sources detected in the Spitzer Space
Telescope legacy observations of the field. With the high spatial
resolution data, will set strict limits on the flux escaping in
intermediate redshift {1

WFPC2 10359

WFPC2 CYCLE 13 Standard Darks

This dark calibration program obtains dark frames every week in order
to provide data for the ongoing calibration of the CCD dark current
rate, and to monitor and characterize the evolution of hot pixels.
Over an extended period these data will also provide a monitor of
radiation damage to the CCDs.

WFPC2 10363

WFPC2 CYCLE 13 Intflat and Visflat Sweeps and Filter Rotation Anomaly

Using intflat observations, this WFPC2 proposal is designed to monitor
the pixel-to-pixel flatfield response and provide a linearity check.
The intflat sequences, to be done once during the year, are similar to
those from the Cycle 12 program 10075. The images will provide a
backup database in the event of complete failure of the visflat lamp
as well as allow monitoring of the gain ratios. The sweep is a
complete set of internal flats, cycling through both shutter blades
and both gains. The linearity test consists of a series of intflats in
F555W, in each gain and each shutter. As in Cycle 12, we plan to
continue to take extra visflat, intflat, and earthflat exposures to
test the repeatability of filter wheel motions.


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

HSTAR 9727: U2,3RD Roll Delay Update Failed on FHST 2 @59/12:18z –
FHST Roll Delay Update U2,3RD scheduled at 059/12:17:18 failed with
error box results indicating “2 failed”  for mnemonics QEBSTFG0,
QEBSTFG1, QEBSTFG2. 486 status buffer message 901 was received at
12:18:13. Under investigation.


1308-0  Adjust Recharge Ratio Limits for HIGHSUN/ORBIT Time @060/0001z (Closed)

                            SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES 
 FGS Gsacq                10                        10 
 FGS Reacq                05                         05 
 FHST Update              13                        12             59/1218z 
 (HSTAR 9727) 


SpaceRef staff editor.