Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4416

By SpaceRef Editor
August 1, 2007
Filed under , ,
NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4416

Notice: Due to the conversion of some ACS WFC or HRC observations into WFPC2, or NICMOS observations after the loss of ACS CCD science capability in January, there may be an occasional discrepancy between a proposal’s listed (and correct) instrument usage and the abstract that follows it.

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DAILY REPORT # 4416 – Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: UT July 31, 2007 (DOY 212)


WFPC2 11024


This calibration proposal is the Cycle 15 routine internal monitor for WFPC2, to be run weekly to monitor the health of the cameras. A variety of internal exposures are obtained in order to provide a monitor of the integrity of the CCD camera electronics in both bays {both gain 7 and gain 15 — to test stability of gains and bias levels}, a test for quantum efficiency in the CCDs, and a monitor for possible buildup of contaminants on the CCD windows. These also provide raw data for generating annual super-bias reference files for the calibration pipeline.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11060

NICMOS Photometric Stability Monitoring

This NICMOS calibration proposal carries out photometric monitoring observations during Cycle 15. The format is the same as the Cycle 14 version of the program {10725}, but a few modifications were made with respect to the Cycle 12 program 9995 and Cycle 13 program 10381. Provisions had to be made to adopt to 2-gyro mode {G191B2B was added as extra target to provide target visibility through most of the year}. Where before 4 or 7 dithers were made in a filter before we moved to the next filter, now we observe all filters at one position before moving to the next dither position. While the previous method was chosen to minimize the effect of persistence, we now realize that persistence may be connected to charge trapping and by moving through the filter such that the count rate increases, we reach equilibrium more quickly between charge being trapped and released. We have also increased exposure times where possible to reduce the charge trapping non-linearity effects.

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=3Ddate/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 11023

WFPC2 CYCLE 15 Standard Darks – part 1

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 11084

Probing the Least Luminous Galaxies in the Local Universe

We propose to obtain deep color-magnitude data of eight new Local Group galaxies which we recently discovered: Andromeda XI, Andromeda XII, and Andromeda XIII {satellites of M31}; Canes Venatici I, Canes Venatici II, Hercules, and Leo IV {satellites of the Milky Way}; and Leo T, a new “free-floating” Local Group dwarf spheroidal with evidence for recent star formation and associated H I gas. These represent the least luminous galaxies known at *any* redshift, and are the only accessible laboratories for studying this extreme regime of galaxy formation. With deep WFPC-2 F606W and F814W pointings at their centers, we will determine whether these objects contain single or multiple age stellar populations, as well as whether these objects display a range of metallicities.

WFPC2/NIC3 11188

First Resolved Imaging of Escaping Lyman Continuum

The emission from star-forming galaxies appears to be responsible for reionization of the universe at z>6. However, the models that attempt to describe the detailed impact of high- redshift galaxies on the surrounding inter-galactic medium {IGM} are strongly dependent upon several uncertain parameters. Perhaps the most uncertain is the fraction of HI-ionizing photons produced by young stars which escape into the IGM. Most attempts to measure this “escape fraction” {f_esc} have produced null results. Recently, a small subset of z~3 Lyman Break Galaxies {LBGs} has been found exhibiting large escape fractions. It remains unclear however, what differentiates them from other LBGs. Several models attempt to explain how such a large fraction of ionizing continuum can escape through the HI and dust in the ISM {eg. “chimneys” created by SNe winds, globular cluster formation, etc.}, each producing unique signatures which can be observed with resolved imaging of the escaping Lyman continuum. We propose a deep, high resolution WFPC2 image of the ionizing continuum {F336W} and the rest-frame 1500 Angstrom continuum {F606W} of five of the six known LBGs with large escape fractions. These LBGs all fit within a single WFPC2 pointing, yielding high observing efficiency. Additionally, they all have z~3.1 or higher, the optimal redshift range for probing the Lyman Continuum region with available WFPC2 filters. These factors make our proposed sample especially suitable for follow- up. With these data we will discern the mechanisms responsible for producing large escape fractions, and therefore gain insight into the process of reionization.


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

HSTARS: (None)



                        SCHEDULED      SUCCESSFUL

FGS GSacq                05                  05
FGS REacq                08                  08                     
OBAD with Maneuver       20                  20         


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