Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 4515

By SpaceRef Editor
December 31, 2007
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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 4515


Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: UT December 27, 2007 (DOY 361)


NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11330

NICMOS Cycle 16 Extended Dark

This takes a series of Darks in parallel to other instruments.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8795

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 6

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 i mages. Each observation will need its own CRMAP, as different SAA passages leave different imprints on the NICMOS detectors.

NIC3 11064


Now that the spectrophotometric capabilities of the NICMOS grism have been established, cycle 15 observations are needed to refine the sensitivity estimates, to check for sensitivity loss with time, to improve the accuracy of the linearity correction, to improve the secondary flux standards by re-observation, and to expand the G206 data set now that the sky subtraction technique has been shown to produce useful fluxes for some of the fainter secondary standards. These faint secondary IR standards will be a significant step towards establishing flux standards for JWST, as well as for SNAP, Spitzer, and SOFIA. 1.Re- observe the 3 primary WDs GD71, G191B2b, & GD153 twice each, once at the beginning and once near the end of the 18 month cycle. To date, we have only 2 observation of each star, while the corresponding STIS data set for these primary standards ranges from 6 to 23 obs. No observations exist for GD71 or GD153 with G206, so that the current G206 sensitivity is defined solely by G191B2B. Purposes: Refine sensitivities, measure sens losses. Orbits: 2 for each of 6 visits = 12 2. Re-observe WD1057 & WD1657 plus another P041C lamp-on visit to improve the scatter in the non-lin measurements per Fig. 8 of NIC ISR 2006-02. The WD stars require 2 orbits each, while the lamp-on test is done in one. The very faintest and most crucial standard WD1657 has 2 good visits already, so to substantially improve the S/N, two visits of two orbits are needed. Include G206 for P041C in the lamp-off baseline part of that orbit. Orbits: WD1057-2, WD1657-4, P041C-1 –> 7 3. Re-observe 9 secondary standards to improve S/N of the faint ones and to include G206 for all 9. BD+17 {3 obs} is not repeated in this cycle. Four are bright enough to do in one orbit: VB8, 2M0036+18, P330E, and P177D. Orbits:2*5+4=14 Grand Total orbits over 18 month cycle 15 is 12+6+14=32 {Roelof will submit the P041C lamp-on visit in a separate program.}

WFPC2 11124

The Origin of QSO Absorption Lines from QSOs

We propose using WFPC2 to image the fields of 10 redshift z ~ 0.7 foreground {FG} QSOs which lie within ~29-151 kpc of the sightlines to high-z background {BG} QSOs. A surprisingly high fraction of the BG QSO spectra show strong MgII {2796,2803} absorption lines at precisely the same redshifts as the FG QSOs. The high resolution capabilities of WFPC2 are needed to understand the origin of these absorption systems, in two ways. First, we wish to explore the FG QSO environment as close as possible to the position of the BG QSO, to search for interloping group or cluster galaxies which might be responsible for the absorption, or irregularly shaped post-merger debris between the FG and BG QSO which may indicate the presence of large amount of disrupted gas along a sightline. Similarly, high resolution images are needed to search for signs of tidal interactions between any galaxies which might be found close to the FG QSO. Such features might provide evidence of young merging events causing the start of QSO duty cycles and producing outflows from the central AGN. Such winds may be responsible for the observed absorption lines. Second, we seek to measure the intrinsic parameters of the FG QSO host galaxy, such as luminosity and morphology, to correlate with the properties of the MgII absorption lines. We wish to observe each field through the F814W filter, close to the rest-frame B-band of the FG QSO. These blue data can reveal enhanced star formation regions close to the nucleus of the host galaxy, which may be indicative of galaxy mergers with the FG QSO host. The FG QSO environment offers quite a different set of phenomena which might be responsible for MgII absorption, providing an important comparison to studies of MgII absorption from regular field galaxies.

WFPC2 11202

The Structure of Early-type Galaxies: 0.1-100 Effective Radii

The structure, formation and evolution of early-type galaxies is still largely an open problem in cosmology: how does the Universe evolve from large linear scales dominated by dark matter to the highly non-linear scales of galaxies, where baryons and dark matter both play important, interacting, roles? To understand the complex physical processes involved in their formation scenario, and why they have the tight scaling relations that we observe today {e.g. the Fundamental Plane}, it is critically important not only to understand their stellar structure, but also their dark-matter distribution from the smallest to the largest scales. Over the last three years the SLACS collaboration has developed a toolbox to tackle these issues in a unique and encompassing way by combining new non-parametric strong lensing techniques, stellar dynamics, and most recently weak gravitational lensing, with high-quality Hubble Space Telescope imaging and VLT/Keck spectroscopic data of early-type lens systems. This allows us to break degeneracies that are inherent to each of these techniques separately and probe the mass structure of early-type galaxies from 0.1 to 100 effective radii. The large dynamic range to which lensing is sensitive allows us both to probe the clumpy substructure of these galaxies, as well as their low-density outer haloes. These methods have convincingly been demonstrated, by our team, using smaller pilot-samples of SLACS lens systems with HST data. In this proposal, we request observing time with WFPC2 and NICMOS to observe 53 strong lens systems from SLACS, to obtain complete multi-color imaging for each system. This would bring the total number of SLACS lens systems to 87 with completed HST imaging and effectively doubles the known number of galaxy-scale strong lenses. The deep HST images enable us to fully exploit our new techniques, beat down low-number statistics, and probe the structure and evolution of early-type galaxies, not only with a uniform data-set an order of magnitude larger than what is available now, but also with a fully coherent and self-consistent methodological approach!


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


11123 – REAcq2,3,2) failed to RGA Hold (Gyro Control)

REAcq(2,3,2) scheduled at 361/16:02:00 – 16:10:05 failed to RGA Hold due to a Search Radius Limit Exceeded Error on FGS-2. ESB 1805 (T2G_MOVING)TARGET_DETECTED) was received at 361/16:02:39 post-OBAD2. One ESB “a05” (FGS Coarse Track failed-Search Radius Limit Exceeded) was received at 361/16:07:34. Pre-acquisition OBAD1 attitude correction value not available due to LOS. Pre-acq OBAD2 had (RSS) value of 44.61 arcseconds. Post-acq OBAD/MAP had (RSS) value of 194.34 arcseconds. At 361/16:14:07 Equation F3SOB flagged indicating Stuck-on-Bottom. (OPS REQUEST 17597-9) FHST Stuck-on-Bottom Macro was executed at 361/16:18:49. F3SOB was back in bounds at 361/16:19:12.

Subsequent REAcq(2,3,2)scheduled at 361/17:38:42 was successful.


17597-9 – FHST Stuck-on-Bottom Macro Execution


                        SCHEDULED      SUCCESSFUL

FGS GSacq               07                  07
FGS REacq               08                  07
OBAD with Maneuver      30                  30


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