Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4374

By SpaceRef Editor
June 5, 2007
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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4374

Notice: For the foreseeable future, the daily reports may contain apparent discrepancies between some proposal descriptions and the listed instrument usage. This is due to the conversion of previously approved ACS WFC or HRC observations into WFPC2, or NICMOS observations subsequent to the loss of ACS CCD science capability in late January.


– Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: UT May 31, 2007 (DOY 151)


WFPC2 10877 A Snapshot Survey of the Sites of Recent, Nearby Supernovae

During the past few years, robotic {or nearly robotic} searches for supernovae {SNe}, most notably our Lick Observatory Supernova Search {LOSS}, have found hundreds of SNe, many of them in quite nearby galaxies {cz < 4000 km/s}. Most of the objects were discovered before maximum brightness, and have follow-up photometry and spectroscopy; they include some of the best-studied SNe to date. We propose to conduct a snapshot imaging survey of the sites of some of these nearby objects, to obtain late-time photometry that {through the shape of the light and color curves} will help reveal the origin of their lingering energy. The images will also provide high-resolution information on the local environments of SNe that are far superior to what we can procure from the ground. For example, we will obtain color-color and color-magnitude diagrams of stars in these SN sites, to determine the SN progenitor masses and constraints on the reddening. Recovery of the SNe in the new HST images will also allow us to actually pinpoint their progenitor stars in cases where pre- explosion images exist in the HST archive. This proposal is an extension of our successful Cycle 13 snapshot survey with ACS. It is complementary to our Cycle 15 archival proposal, which is a continuation of our long-standing program to use existing HST images to glean information about SN environments.

ACS/SBC 10862

Comprehensive Auroral Imaging of Jupiter and Saturn during the International Heliophysical Year

A comprehensive set of observations of the auroral emissions from Jupiter and Saturn is proposed for the International Heliophysical Year in 2007, a unique period of especially concentrated measurements of space physics phenomena throughout the solar system. We propose to determine the physical relationship of the various auroral processes at Jupiter and Saturn with conditions in the solar wind at each planet. This can be accomplished with campaigns of observations, with a sampling interval not to exceed one day, covering at least one solar rotation. The solar wind plasma density approaching Jupiter will be measured by the New Horizons spacecraft, and a separate campaign near opposition in May 2007 will determine the effect of large-scale variations in the interplanetary magnetic field {IMF} on the Jovian aurora by extrapolation from near-Earth solar wind measurements. A similar Saturn campaign near opposition in Jan. 2007 will combine extrapolated solar wind data with measurements from a wide range of locations within the Saturn magnetosphere by Cassini. In the course of making these observations, it will be possible to fully map the auroral footprints of Io and the other satellites to determine both the local magnetic field geometry and the controlling factors in the electromagnetic interaction of each satellite with the corotating magnetic field and plasma density. Also in the course of making these observations, the auroral emission properties will be compared with the properties of the near-IR ionospheric emissions {from ground-based observations} and non thermal radio emissions, from ground-based observations for Jupiter?s decametric radiation and Cassini plasma wave measurements of the Saturn Kilometric Radiation {SKR}.

ACS/SBC 10872

Lyman Continuum Emission in Galaxies at z=1.2

Lyman continuum photons produced in massive starbursts may have played a dominant role in the reionization of the Universe. Starbursts are important contributors to the ionizing metagalactic background at lower redshifts as well. However, their contribution to the background depends upon the fraction of ionizing radiation that escapes from the intrinsic opacity of galaxies below the Lyman limit. Current surveys suggest escape fractions of a few percent, up to 10%, with very few detections {as opposed to upper limits} having been reported. No detections have been reported in the epochs between z=0.1 and z=2. We propose to measure the fraction of escaping Lyman continuum radiation from 15 luminous z~1.2 galaxies in the GOODS fields. Using the tremendous sensitivity of the ACS Solar- blind Channel, we will reach AB=30 mag., allowing us to detect an escape fraction of 1%. We will correlate the amount of escaping radiation with the photometric and morphological properties of the galaxies. A non-detection in all sources would imply that QSOs provide the overwhelming majority of ionizing radiation at z=1.3, and it would strongly indicate that the properties of galaxies at higher redshift have to be significantly different for galaxies to dominate reionization. The deep FUV images will also be useful for extending the FUV study of other galaxies in the GOODS fields.

FGS 10929

Calibrating the Mass-Luminosity Relation at the End of the Main Sequence

We propose to use HST-FGS1R to finish calibrating the mass-luminosity relation for stars less massive than 0.5 Msun, with special emphasis on objects near the stellar/substellar border. Our goals are to determine Mv values to 0.05 magnitude and masses to 5%, and thereby build the fundamental database of stellar masses that we will use to test theoretical models as never before. This program uses the combination of HST- FGS3/FGS1R at optical wavelengths, historical infrared speckle data, ground-based parallax work, metallicity studies, and radial velocity monitoring to examine nearby, subarcsecond binary systems. The high precision separation and position angle measurements with HST-FGS3/FGS1R {to 1 mas in the separations} for these faint {V = 10-15} targets simply cannot be equaled by any ground-based technique. As a result of these measurements, we are deriving high quality luminosities and masses for the components in the systems, and characterizing their spectral energy distributions from 0.5 to 2.2 microns. One of the objects, GJ 1245 C with mass 0.074 +/- 0.002 Msun, is the only object known with an accurate dynamical mass less than 0.10 Msun. The payoff of this proposal is high because the six systems selected for final observations in Cycles 15 and 16 have already been resolved during Cycles 5-13 with HST FGS3/FGS1R and contain most of the reddest objects for which accurate dynamical masses can be determined.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8794

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 5

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 11080

Exploring the Scaling Laws of Star Formation

As a variety of surveys of the local and distant Universe are approaching a full census of galaxy populations, our attention needs to turn towards understanding and quantifying the physical mechanisms that trigger and regulate the large-scale star formation rates {SFRs} in galaxies.


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

HSTARS: (None from today)

10846 – GSAcq (1,2,2) requires multiple attempts to achieve CT-DV During the PTAS data review processing data revealed that GSACq (1,2,2), scheduled for 144:09:16:05, required four entries into CT before achieving CT-DV. The acquisition was successful.

10845 – GSAcq (1,2,2) requires multiple attempts to achieve CT-DV During the PTAS data review processing data revealed that GSAcq (1,2,2) scheduled at 145:07:38:04, required two attempts to achieve CT-DV. The acquisition was successful.



                      SCHEDULED      SUCCESSFUL 
FGS GSacq                10                  10 
FGS REacq                01                  01 
OBAD with Maneuver       22                  22 


SpaceRef staff editor.