Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3833

By SpaceRef Editor
April 8, 2005
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT         # 3833



ACS/HRC 10431

A Search for Faint Companions of Altair

We propose to use the innovative new technique of spectral
deconvolution {Sparks & Ford 2002} to search for very faint
companions, possibly extrasolar planets shining by reflected light,
around Altair, the nearest bright, single star to the Sun. The
technique offers a Poisson-limited detection capability that brings
Jovian-class planets into the realm of feasibility for a select few
stars. We turn the wavelength dependence of the coronagraphic PSF to
advantage and use it to eliminate stray light from the host star. As
part of the detection process, we obtain a spectrum over the
wavelength range, 750 nm to 1 micron, with 9% resolution. The search
will be orders of magnitude more sensitive than all previous efforts
and should take us to within about an order of magnitude of the Jovian
luminosity flux limit.


ACS CCDs daily monitor – Cycle 13 – Part 2

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.


Focus Monitor

The focus of HST is measured from WFPC2/PC and ACS/HRC images of
stars. Multiple exposures are taken in parallel over an orbit to
determine the influence of breathing on the derived mean focus.
Observations are taken of clusters with suitable orientations to
ensure stars appear in all fields.

ACS/WFC/NIC/NIC3/WFPC 10246 2 The HST survey of the Orion Nebula

We propose a Treasury Program of 104 HST orbits to perform the
definitive study of the Orion Nebula Cluster, the Rosetta stone of
star formation. We will cover with unprecedented sensitivity {23-25
mag}, dynamic range {~12 mag}, spatial resolution {50mas}, and
simultaneous spectral coverage {5 bands} a ~450 square arcmin field
centered on the Trapezium stars. This represents a tremendous gain
over the shallow WFC1 study made in 1991 with the aberrated HST on an
area ~15 times smaller. We maximize the HST observing efficiency using
ACS/WFC and WFPC2 in parallel with two opposite roll angles, to cover
the same total field. We will assemble the richest, most accurate and
unbiased HR diagram for pre-main-sequence objects ever made. Combined
with the optical spectroscopy already available for ~1000 sources and
new deep near-IR imaging and spectroscopy {that we propose as Joint
HST-NOAO observations}, we will be able to attack and possibly solve
the most compelling questions on stellar evolution: the calibration of
pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks, mass segration and the
variation of the initial mass function in different environments, the
evolution of mass accretion rates vs. age and environment, disk
dissipation in environments dominated by hard vs. soft-UV radiation,
stellar multiplicity vs. disk fraction. In addition, we expect to
discover and classify an unknown, but substantial, population of
pre-Main Sequence binaries, low mass stars and brown dwarfs down to
~10 MJup. This is also the best possible way to discover dark
silhouette disks in the outskirts of the Orion Nebula and study their
evolutionary status through multicolor imaging. This program is timely
and extremely well leveraged to other programs targeting Orion: the
ACS H-alpha survey of the Orion Nebula, the recently completed 850ks
ultradeep Chandra survey, the large GTO programs to be performed with
SIRTF, plus the availability of 2MASS and various deep JHK surveys of
the core recently done with 8m class telescopes.

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/WFPC2 10277

Ages and Metallicities of the Intergalactic Globular Cluster
Population in Abell 1185

We will obtain deep NICMOS observations of a recently discovered
population of intergalactic globular clusters in the nearby galaxy
cluster Abell 1185. These H band observations in conjunction with deep
V and I images that we obtained with ACS in Cycle 11 will allow us to
measure the ages and metallicities of these objects from their optical
and near-infrared colors, which will provide important insights to
their origin. We will also obtain parallel observations with both ACS
and WFPC2. ACS parallel observations will be used to obtain deep
images to search for intergalactic globular clusters in a different
region of Abell 1185. WFPC2 parallel observations will be used to
obtain images of interacting galaxy pair Arp 105, to search for
globular clusters currently being ejected into intergalactic space as
a result of this encounter.


Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary
reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be
investigated.) None

17411-1  Off-line +BB and +B SPA Trim Relays @ 096/1313z


                            SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES 
 FGS Gsacq                 07                       07 
 FGS Reacq                 07                       07 
 FHST Update              10                       10 


SpaceRef staff editor.