Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 3846

By SpaceRef Editor
April 26, 2005
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HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT        # 3846



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.

ACS/HRC 10130

Systemic Proper Motions of the Magellanic Clouds from Astrometry with
ACS: II. Second Epoch Images

We request second epoch observations with ACS of Magellanic Cloud
fields centered on the 40 quasars in the LMC and SMC for which we have
first epoch Cycle 11 data. The new data will determine the systemic
proper motion of the Clouds. An extensive astrometric analysis of the
first epoch data shows that follow-up observations with a two year
baseline will allow us to measure the proper motion of the clouds to
within 0.022 mas/year in each of the two orthogonal directions
{assuming that we can image 25 quasars, i.e., with a realistic
Snapshot Program completion rate}. The best weighted combination of
all previous measurements has a seven times larger error than what we
expect. We will determine the proper motion of the clouds with 2%
accuracy. When combined with HI data for the Magellanic Stream this
will constrain both the mass distribution in the Galactic Halo and
theoretical models for the origin of the Magellanic Stream. Previous
measurements are too crude for such constraints. Our data will provide
by far the most accurate proper motion measurement for any Milky Way

ACS/HRC 10238

The nature of quasar host galaxies: combining ACS imaging and VLT
Integral Field Spectroscopy.

We propose to perform ACS/F606W imaging of a complete sample of 29
quasar host galaxies {0.08< z <0.34}. The spatial resolving power of the ACS HRC, in combination with the acquisition of empirical PSFs and advanced deconvolution techniques, will allow to study in detail structures on scales of a few tens of parsecs, and to access the inner regions of the host galaxies, even in the presence of bright nuclei. We demonstrate that combining deep spectroscopy with high resolution imaging in stable PSF conditions definitely constitutes the solution to characterize the complex physical properties of quasar host galaxies, from their outer regions to the inner 0.1 kpc, where most of the information on the interplay between quasars and their hosts is hidden. We propose to combine new ACS images with existing Integral Field VLT Spectra. We will map the stellar and gas velocity fields in 2D, constrain the mass models, derive the radial host M/L ratios, map and characterize the stellar populations and the ionization state of the gas.

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 10396

Star Clusters, Stellar Populations, and the Evolution of the Small
Magellanic Cloud

As the closest star forming dwarf galaxy, the SMC is the preferred
location for detailed studies of this extremely common class of
objects. We therefore propose to use the capabilities of ACS, which
provide an improvement by an order of magnitude over what is possible
with ground-based optical imaging surveys that are limited by
confusion and depth, to measure key stellar population parameters in
the SMC from VI color- magnitude diagrams. Our program focuses on
regions where crowding makes HST essential and includes 7 star
clusters and 7 field star locations. We will measure accurate ages of
the clusters, test stellar evolution models, gain fiducial stellar
sequences to use in fitting the field stars, check the form of the
IMF, and substantially extend the study of RR Lyrae variables in the
key NGC121 SMC globular cluster. The field pointings will allow us to
reconstruct the star formation history, look for enhanced star
formation that is expected when the SMC interacts with the LMC and/or
Milky Way, and compare its main sequence luminosity {and mass}
functions with those of the Milky Way, LMC, and UMi dwarf spheroidal.
This proposal is part of a coordinated HST and ground-based study of
the stellar history and star formation processes in the SMC.

ACS/HRC 10426

High resolution follow-up observations of the microlensing event OGLE
2003-BLG- 235/MOA 2003-BLG-53

We propose high resolution imaging observations using HST/ACS to
confirm that the lens in the microlensing event OGLE 2003-BLG-235/MOA
2003-BLG-53 is a planetary system. Modelling of ground based
photometry of this event yields an extreme mass fraction of 0.004 {ApJ
606, L155}. We aim to use high resolution imaging to isolate the flux
of the lens star from the contributions of neighboring “blended” stars
within 1-2 arcsecs. This will allow us to identify the nature of the
lens star and hence determine the mass of the stellar and planetary
components. The lens is most likely a main sequence star, but other
possibilities cannot be ruled out. High resolution imaging
observations are crucial in identifying the nature of the lens.


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.

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.

ACS/WFC 10369

ACS internal CTE monitor

The charge transfer efficiency {CTE} of the ACS CCD detectors will
decline as damage due to on-orbit radiation exposure accumulates. This
degradation will be closely monitored at regular intervals, because it
is likely to determine the useful lifetime of the CCDs. All the data
for this program is acquired using internal targets {lamps} only, so
all of the exposures should be taken during Earth occultation time
{but not during SAA passages}. This program emulates the ACS
pre-flight ground calibration and post-launch SMOV testing {program
8948}, so that results from each epoch can be directly compared.
Extended Pixel Edge Response {EPER} and First Pixel Response {FPR}
data will be obtained over a range of signal levels for both the Wide
Field Channel {WFC}, and the High Resolution Channel {HRC}.

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.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8793

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 4

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.

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 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
investigated.) None


  • 17428-1  Genslew for Proposal 10263  Slot#4 @115/1906z
  • 17429-0  Genslew for Proposal 10263  Slot#5 @115/1908z


                            SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES 
 FGS Gsacq                 09                       09 
 FGS Reacq                 09                       09 
 FHST Update               14                       14 


SpaceRef staff editor.