Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3815

By SpaceRef Editor
March 15, 2005
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT        # 3815



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.

NIC2 10428

The colours of QSO host galaxies at z=2 and the evolution of their
stellar masses

We propose to use NICMOS imaging to measure the rest-frame optical/UV
colours of a complete sample of 10 QSO host galaxies at redshifts
between z=1.5 and z=2. From our cycle 11 HST observations {the GEMS
project} we know that QSO host galaxies at redshifts of z~1 show blue
colours despite having early-type morphologies. This is in excellent
agreement with recent SDSS results on low-z AGN hosts, suggesting that
QSO- type activity in galaxies correlates strongly with the presence
of a young stellar population. Our proposed NICMOS observations will
allow us to test the validity of this hypothesis out to z~2, by
relating the observed QSO host colours to those of normal galaxies at
similar redshifts taken from GOODS. We have already established within
GEMS that the QSO hosts in our sample possess substantial UV
luminosities, most likely originating from young stars. Knowing
rest-frame colours, we can estimate stellar ages and stellar masses.
For the first time will it be possible to determine the evolution of
stellar masses in QSO host galaxies from z=2, the epoch of maximum QSO
activity, to the present. Our results will shed light on the relation
between nuclear activity and the star formation history of galaxies,
and how these processes may jointly drive the cosmic evolution of QSOs
and galaxies.


Accurate and Robust Calibration of the Extragalactic Distance Scale
with the Maser Galaxy NGC4258 II

The extragalactic distance scale {EDS} is defined by a comparison of
Cepheid Period- Luminosity {PL} relations for nearby galaxies and the
LMC, whose uncertain distance is thereby the SOLE anchor. Studies of
masers orbiting the central black hole in NGC4258 have provided the
most accurate extragalactic distance ever {7.2+/-0.5 Mpc}, and new
radio data and analysis techniques will reduce the uncertainty to < 3.5% {0.07 mag} by 2005. Since this distance is well determined and based on geometric arguments, NGC4258 can provide a much needed new anchor for the EDS. Ultimately, the combination of an independent measurement of H0 and measurements of CMB fluctuations {e.g., WMAP} can be used to directly constrain cosmological parameters including the equation of state of dark energy. In our Cycle 12 proposal, we defined a program spanning two cycles. The Cycle 12 portion was accepted. We have acquired WFC images and are constructing well sampled PL relations in 3 colors {BVI}. The purpose of the Cycle 13 observations is to address systematic sources of error and is crucial for the success of the entire program. To disentangle the effects of reddening and metallicity, and to characterize the effects of blending, we require 50 orbits to obtain H-band photometry {NICMOS/NIC2} and high resolution images {ACS/HRC}.


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 10349

A Uniform Study of Globular Cluster X-ray Sources: the Keys to Cluster

We propose to extend our ongoing studies of the dynamical evolution of
globular clusters by observing their populations of low-luminosity
X-ray sources. Many of these sources are binary systems {or have
evolved from them} and hold the key to the cluster’s dynamical
evolution. We propose observations of a variety of clusters with
widely different physical properties such as central concentration,
cluster size and mass, which are all key ingredients in the formation
and evolution of binaries. To make this study as uniform as possible,
the clusters will be observed to the same limiting luminosity. Joint
observations with HST will allow for definitive source identification.

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.

ACS/WFC 10257

Astrometric and Photometric Study of NGC 6397 for Internal Motions,
Dark Binaries, and X-Ray Sources

We propose to observe the central regions of the globular cluster NGC
6397 with ACS/WFC once per month for the 10 months of its visibility
in Cycle 13. The project has three main goals: {1} Measure internal
motions for roughly 3000 stars within 150 arcseconds of the cluster
center, using archival WFPC2 as a first epoch. The motion of the
typical star will be measured to 10-20%. We will detect any central
black hole {BH} with a mass greater than 1000 solar masses, and will
also measure core-collapse signatures such as anisotropy. {2} Conduct
the first-ever search for heavy binaries by looking for the
astrometric “wobble” of the luminous secondary. We should find all
heavy binaries in the field with separations between 1 and 5 AU and
periods between 3 months and 5 years. {3} Search for opticall
counterparts to X-ray sources found by Chandra.

ACS/HRC 10255

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

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 10199

The Most Massive Galaxies in the Universe: Double Trouble?

We are proposing an HST snapshot survey of 70 objects with velocity
dispersion larger than 350 km/s, selected from the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey. Potentially this sample contains the most massive galaxies in
the Universe. Some of these objects may be superpositions; HST imaging
is the key to determining if they are single and massive or if they
are two objects in projection. The objects which HST imaging shows to
be single objects are interesting because they potentially harbor the
most massive black holes, and because their existence places strong
constraints on galaxy formation models. When combined with ground
based data already in hand, the objects which HST imaging shows are
superpositions provide valuable information about interaction rates of
early- type galaxies as well as their dust content. They also
constrain the allowed parameter space for models of binary
gravitational lenses {such models are currently invoked to explain
discrepancies in the distribution of lensed image flux ratios and

ACS/WFC/NIC2 10189

PANS-Probing Acceleration Now with Supernovae

Type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} provide the most direct evidence for an
accelerating Universe, a result widely attributed to dark energy.
Using HST in Cycle 11 we extended the Hubble diagram with 6 of the 7
highest-redshift SNe Ia known, all at z>1.25, providing conclusive
evidence of an earlier epoch of cosmic deceleration. The full sample
of 16 new SNe Ia match the cosmic concordance model and are
inconsistent with a simple model of evolution or dust as alternatives
to dark energy. Understanding dark energy may be the biggest current
challenge to cosmology and particle physics. To understand the nature
of dark energy, we seek to measure its two most fundamental
properties: its evolution {i.e., dw/dz}, and its recent equation of
state {i.e., w{z=0}}. SNe Ia at z>1, beyond the reach of the ground
but squarely within the reach of HST with ACS, are crucial to break
the degeneracy in the measurements of these two basic aspects of dark
energy. The SNe Ia we have discovered and measured with HST in Cycle
11, now double the precision of our knowledge of both properties. Here
we propose to quadruple the sample of SNe Ia at z>1 in the next two
cycles, complementing on-going surveys from the ground at z<1, and again doubling the precision of dark energy constraints. Should the current best fit model prove to be the correct one, the precision expected from the current proposal will suffice to rule out a cosmological constant at the 99% confidence level. Whatever the result, these objects will provide the basis with which to extend our empirical knowledge of this newly discovered and dominant component of the Universe, and will remain one of the most significant legacies of HST. In addition, our survey and follow-up data will greatly enhance the value of the archival data within the target Treasury fields for galaxy studies.

ACS/HRC 10185

When does Bipolarity Impose itself on the Extreme Mass Outflows from
AGB Stars? An ACS SNAPshot 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? Our previous SNAPshot surveys of a PPNe sample {with
ACS & NICMOS} show that roughly half our targets observed are
resolved, with well-defined bipolar or multipolar morphologies.
Spectroscopic surveys of our sample confirm that these objects have
not yet evolved into planetary nebulae. Thus, the transformation from
spherical to aspherical geometries has already fully developed by the
time these dying stars have become preplanetary nebulae. From this new
and surprising result, we hypothesize that the transformation to
bipolarity begins during the very late AGB phase, and happens very
quickly, just before, or as the stars are evolving off the AGB. We
propose to test this hypothesis quantitatively, through a SNAPshot
imaging survey of very evolved AGB stars which we believe are nascent
preplanetary nebulae; with our target list being drawn from published
lists of AGB stars with detected heavy mass-loss {from millimeter-wave
observations}. This survey is crucial for determining how and when the
bipolar geometry asserts itself. Supporting kinematic observations
using long-slit optical spectroscopy {with the Keck}, millimeter and
radio interferometric observations {with OVRO, VLA & VLBA} are being
undertaken. The results from this survey {together with our previous
work} will allow us to draw general conclusions about the onset of
bipolar mass-ejection during late stellar evolution, and will provide
crucial input for theories of post-AGB stellar evolution. Our survey
will produce an archival legacy of long-standing value for future
studies of dying stars.

NIC2 10177

Solar Systems In Formation: A NICMOS Coronagraphic Survey of
Protoplanetary and Debris Disks

Until recently, despite decades of concerted effort applied to
understanding the formation processes that gave birth to our solar
system, the detailed morphology of circumstellar material that must
eventually form planets has been virtually impossible to discern. The
advent of high contrast, coronagraphic imaging as implemented with the
instruments aboard HST has dramatically enhanced our understanding of
natal planetary system formation. Even so, only a handful of evolved
disks {~ 1 Myr and older} have been imaged and spatially resolved in
light scattered from their constituent grains. To elucidate the
physical processes and properties in potentially planet-forming
circumstellar disks, and to understand the nature and evolution of
their grains, a larger spatially resolved and photometrically reliable
sample of such systems must be observed. Thus, we propose a highly
sensitive circumstellar disk imaging survey of a well-defined and
carefully selected sample of YSOs {1-10 Myr T Tau and HAeBe stars} and
{> app 10 Myr} main sequence stars, to probe the posited epoch of
planetary system formation, and to provide this critically needed
imagery. Our resolved images will shed light on the spatial
distributions of the dust in these thermally emissive disks. In
combination with their long wavelength SEDs the physical properties of
the grains will be discerned, or constrained by our photometrically
accurate surface brightness sensitivity limits for faint disks which
elude detection. Our sample builds on the success of the exploratory
GTO 7233 program, using two-roll per orbit PSF-subtracted NICMOS
coronagraphy to provide the highest detection sensitivity to the
smallest disks around bright stars which can be imaged with HST. Our
sample will discriminate between proposed evolutionary scenarios while
providing a legacy of cataloged morphologies for interpreting mid- and
far-IR SEDs that the recently launched Spitzer Space Telescope will

ACS/WFC 10174

Dark-matter halos and evolution of high-z early-type galaxies

Gravitational lensing and stellar dynamics provide two complementary
methods to determine the mass distribution and evolution of luminous
and dark-matter in early-type {E/S0} galaxies. The combined study of
stellar dynamics and gravitational lensing allows one to break
degeneracies inherent to each method separately, providing a clean
probe of the internal structure of massive galaxies. Since most lens
galaxies are at redshifts z=0.1-1.0, they also provide the required
look-back time to study their structural and stellar-population
evolution. We recently analyzed 5 E/S0 lens galaxies between z=0.5 and
1.0, combining exquisite Hubble Space Telescope imaging data with
kinematic data from ground-based Keck spectroscopy, placing the first
precise constraints on the dark- matter mass fraction and its inner
slope beyond the local Universe. To expand the sample to ~30 systems
— required to study potential trends and evolution in the E/S0 mass
profiles — we propose to target the 49 E/S0 lens-galaxy candidates
discovered by Bolton et al. {2004} from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
{SDSS}. With the average lens rate being 40% and some systems having a
lensing probability close to unity, we expect to discover ~20 strong
gravitational lenses from the sample. This will triple the current
sample of 9 E/S0 systems, with data in hand. With the sample of 30
systems, we will be able to determine the average slope of the
dark-matter and total mass profile of E/S0 galaxies to 10% and 4%
accuracy, respectively. If present, we can simultaneously detect 10%
evolution in the total mass slope with 95% confidence. This will
provide unprecedented constraints on E/S0 galaxies beyond the local
Universe and allow a stringent test of their formation scenarios and
the standard cosmological model.

NIC2 10173

Infrared Snapshots of 3CR Radio Galaxies

Radio galaxies are an important class of extragalactic objects: they
are one of the most energetic astrophysical phenomena and they provide
an exceptional probe of the evolving Universe, lying typically in high
density regions but well-represented across a wide redshift range. In
earlier Cycles we carried out extensive HST observations of the 3CR
sources in order to acquire a complete and quantitative inventory of
the structure, contents and evolution of these important objects.
Amongst the results, we discovered new optical jets, dust lanes,
face-on disks with optical jets, and revealed point-like nuclei whose
properties support FR-I/BL Lac unified schemes. Here, we propose to
obtain NICMOS infrared images of 3CR sources with z<0.3 as a major enhancement to an already superb dataset. We aim to deshroud dusty galaxies, study the underlying host galaxy free from the distorting effects of dust, locate hidden regions of star formation and establish the physical characteristics of the dust itself. We will measure frequency and spectral energy distributions of point-like nuclei, expected to be stronger and more prevalent in the IR, seek spectral turnovers in known synchrotron jets and find new jets. We will strongly test unified AGN schemes and merge these data with existing X-ray to radio observations. The resulting database will be an incredibly valuable resource to the astronomical community for years to come.

ACS/WFC 10152

A Snapshot Survey of a Complete Sample of X-ray Luminous Galaxy
Clusters from Redshift 0.3 to 0.7

We propose a public, uniform imaging survey of a well-studied,
complete, and homogeneous sample of X-ray clusters. The sample of 73
clusters spans the redshift range between 0.3-0.7. The samples spans
almost 2 orders of magnitude of X-ray luminosity, where half of the
sample has X-ray luminosities greater than 10^44 erg/s {0.5- 2.0 keV}.
These snapshots will be used to obtain a fair census of the the
morphology of cluster galaxies in the cores of clusters, to detect
radial and tangential arc candidates, to detect optical jet
candidates, and to provide an approximate estimate of the shear signal
of the clusters themselves, and potentially an assessment of the
contribution of large scale structure to lensing shear.

ACS 10140

Identification of a magnetic anomaly at Jupiter from satellite

Repeated imaging of Jupiter’s aurora has shown that the northern main
oval has a distorted ‘kidney bean’ shape in the general range of
90-140? System III longitude, which appears unchanged since 1994.
While it is more difficult to observe the conjugate regions in the
southern aurora, no corresponding distortion appears in the south.
Recent improved accuracy in locating the satellite footprint auroral
emissions has provided new information about the geometry of Jupiter’s
magnetic field in this and other areas. The study of the magnetic
field provides us with insight into the state of matter and the
dynamics deep down Jupiter. There is currently no other way to do this
from orbit. The persistent pattern of the main oval implies a
disturbance of the local magnetic field, and the increased latitudinal
separation of the locus of satellite footprints from each other and
from the main oval implies a locally weaker field strength. It is
possible that these phenomena result from a magnetic anomaly in
Jupiter’s intrinsic magnetic field, as was proposed by A. Dessler in
the 1970’s. There is presently only limited evidence from the scarcity
of auroral footprints observed in this longitude range. We propose to
obtain HST UV images with specific observing geometries of Jupiter to
determine the locations of the auroral footprints of Io, Europa, and
Ganymede in cycle 13 to accurately determine the magnetic field
geometry in the suggested anomaly region, and to either confirm or
refute the suggestion of a local magnetic anomaly.


The Evolution and Assembly of Galactic Disks: Integrated studies of
mass, stars and gas in the Extended Groth Strip

This project is a 126-orbit imaging survey in F606W/F814W ACS to
measure the evolution of galaxy disks from redshift z = 1.4 to the
present. By combining HST imaging with existing observations in the
Extended Groth Strip, we can for the first time simultaneously
determine the mass in dark matter that underlies disks, the mass in
stars within those disks, and the rate of formation of new stars from
gas in the disks, for samples of >1, 000 objects. ACS observations are
critical for this work, both for reliable identifications of disks and
for determining their sizes and inclinations. Combining these data
with the kinematics measured from high-resolution Keck DEIMOS spectra
will give dynamical masses that include dark matter. Stellar masses
can be measured separately using ground-based BRIK and Spitzer IRAC
GTO data, while cross-calibrated star formation rates will come from
DEEP2 spectra, GALEX, and Spitzer/MIPS. The field chosen is the only
one where all multiwavelength data needed will be available in the
near term. These data will show how the fundamental properties of
disks {luminosity, rotation speed, scale length} and their scaling
relations have evolved since z~1, and also will measure the build-up
of stellar disks directly, providing fundamental tests of disk
formation and evolution. In addition to the above study of disk
galaxies, the data will also be used to measure the evolution of
red-sequence galaxies and their associated stellar populations. ACS
images will yield the number of red-sequence galaxies versus time,
together with their total associated stellar mass. ACS images are
crucial to classify red-sequence galaxies into normal E/S0s versus
peculiar types and to measure radii, which will complete the suite of
fundamental structural parameters needed to study evolution. We will
measure the zeropoints of major scaling laws {Fundamental Plane,
radius versus sigma}, as well as evolution in characteristic
quantities such as L*, v*, and r*. Stellar population ages will be
estimated from high-resolution Keck DEIMOS spectra and compared to SED
evolution measured from GALEX, HST, Spitzer, and ground-based colors.
Important for both disk and red-galaxy programs are parallel exposures
to be taken with both NIC3 {J and H} and WFPC2 {B}. These are arranged
so that ACS, WFPC2, and NIC3 all overlap where possible , providing a
rich data set of galaxies imaged with all three HST cameras from B to
H. These data will be used to measure restframe visible morphologies
and UV star-formation rates for galaxies near the edge of the survey,
to discover and count EROs below the Keck spectroscopic limit of R =
24, and to provide an improved database of photometric redshifts for
galaxies in the overlap regions.


The Co-Evolution of Star Formation and Powerful Radio Activity in

We will carry out a STIS/NUV-MAMA snapshot imaging survey of the most
compact powerful radio galaxies, the Gigahertz Peaked Spectrum {GPS}
sources and Compact Steep Spectrum {CSS} sources. These objects are as
powerful as the large radio doubles but are much smaller {and younger}
and are crucial to our understanding not only of how radio-loud active
galactic nuclei {AGN} form and evolve, but also what role they play in
the evolution of galaxies. A very direct and robust way to address
these issues is by high resolution imaging of the host galaxies of
these sources in the UV. This has never been done before for a sample
of these very compact sources, since previous HST/UV imaging programs
have focussed on the larger radio galaxies. The UV emission can
provide crucial information about any recent star formation that may
have occurred as a result of ongoing accretion, mergers, interactions,
or triggering by the radio source. By comparing the starburst
properties of GPS, CSS, and large scale radio sources, we will be able
to constrain the evolution of massive star formation as a function of
the relative age of the radio source. {Note, due to the failure of
STIS, these observations will be carried out using the ACS/HRC}.


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


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

HSTAR 9742: GSACQ(1,3,1) failed to RGA control with ACS MAMA high
voltage on. GSAcq(1,3,1) at 071/05:03:01 failed to RGA control due to
Search Radius Limit Exceeded on FGS-1 at 05:08:44.  Two Full Maneuver
updates prior to acquisition and FHST map immediately after showed
small attitude errors. Under investigation.

17400-2  Off-Line the +D and +B SPA Trim Relays @ 070/1642z

1315-3  Adjust ACS Error Count @ 071/0946z
0916-0  Tabulation of Slew Attitude Error (Miss-distance) @ 073/0234z

                             SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES 
 FGS Gsacq                 32                        31              071/ 
 FGS Reacq                 13                        13 
 FHST Update               49                       49 


On DOY 070/05, the Solar Array configuration was modified. The number
of off-line strings were decreased from 12 to 9.

SpaceRef staff editor.