Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 4601

By SpaceRef Editor
May 5, 2008
Filed under , ,
NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 4601
NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report # 4601


Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am April 30 – 5am May 01, 2008 (DOY 121/0900z – 122/0900z)


ACS/SBC 11131

Star formation at large radii in cooling flow brightest cluster galaxies

We propose to take deep ACS FUV images of the bright central galaxies in two powerful cooling flow clusters for which we have VLT UBR images, with the object of determining whether the UV excesses we observe at large radii (>15kpc) are caused by young stars, ultrahot (WR) stars, or an as yet unknown source. Current models of excess UV light at the AGN-dominated centers of these galaxies cannot easily be extended to large radii. New understanding of star formation in these clusters will be directly applicable to scenarios of galaxy formation in the early universe.

ACS/SBC 11220

Mapping the FUV Evolution of Type IIn Supernovae

We will use the PR110L prism on the SBC of ACS to map the FUV evolution of Type IIn supernovae {SNe}. The main goal of this proposal is to measure the FUV continuum, Ly-a emission line flux, and their evolution to {1} quantify and interpret Type IIn SN transient event detections at high redshift and {2} dramatically improve current high redshift Type IIn selection criteria. We show that the inherent properties of Type IIn SNe facilitate high redshift detection. We will observe the rest-frame FUV of a sample of eight 0.02 < z < 0.33 Type IIn SNe to directly measure the survival of Ly-alpha photons in low to intermediate redshift Type IIn SNe environments and extrapolate the results to high redshift. We will calibrate relationships such as FUV luminosity vs. emission line flux and measure emission line evolution vs. FUV light evolution. The intent is to categorize and improve the utility of Type IIn SNe.

FGS 11210

The Architecture of Exoplanetary Systems

Are all planetary systems coplanar? Concordance cosmogony makes that prediction. It is, however, a prediction of extrasolar planetary system architecture as yet untested by direct observation for main sequence stars other than the Sun. To provide such a test, we propose to carry out FGS astrometric studies on four stars hosting seven companions. Our understanding of the planet formation process will grow as we match not only system architecture, but formed planet mass and true distance from the primary with host star characteristics for a wide variety of host stars and exoplanet masses. We propose that a series of FGS astrometric observations with demonstrated 1 millisecond of arc per-observation precision can establish the degree of coplanarity and component true masses for four extrasolar systems: HD 202206 {brown dwarf+planet}; HD 128311 {planet+planet}, HD 160691 = mu Arae {planet+planet}, and HD 222404AB = gamma Cephei {planet+star}. In each case the companion is identified as such by assuming that the minimum mass is the actual mass. For the last target, a known stellar binary system, the companion orbit is stable only if coplanar with the AB binary orbit.

FGS 11211

An Astrometric Calibration of Population II Distance Indicators

In 2002 HST produced a highly precise parallax for RR Lyrae. That measurement resulted in an absolute magnitude, M{V}= 0.61+/-0.11, a useful result, judged by the over ten refereed citations each year since. It is, however, unsatisfactory to have the direct, parallax-based, distance scale of Population II variables based on a single star. We propose, therefore, to obtain the parallaxes of four additional RR Lyrae stars and two Population II Cepheids, or W Vir stars. The Population II Cepheids lie with the RR Lyrae stars on a common K-band Period-Luminosity relation. Using these parallaxes to inform that relationship, we anticipate a zero-point error of 0.04 magnitude. This result should greatly strengthen confidence in the Population II distance scale and increase our understanding of RR Lyrae star and Pop II Cepheid astrophysics.

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.

NIC2/WFPC2 11142

Revealing the Physical Nature of Infrared Luminous Galaxies at 0.3

We aim to determine physical properties of IR luminous galaxies at 0.3 0.8mJy and their mid-IR spectra have already provided the majority targets with spectroscopic redshifts {0.31 ULIRGs, as in the local Universe. {2} study the co-evolution of star formation and blackhole accretion by investigating the relations between the fraction of starburst/AGN measured from mid-IR spectra vs. HST morphologies, L{bol} and z. {3} obtain the current best estimates of the far-IR emission, thus L{bol} for this sample, and establish if the relative contribution of mid-to-far IR dust emission is correlated with morphology {resolved vs. unresolved}.

WFPC2 11022

WFPC2 Cycle 15 Decontaminations and Associated Observations

This proposal is for the WFPC2 decons. Also included are instrument monitors tied to decons: photometric stability check, focus monitor, pre- and post-decon internals {bias, intflats, kspots, & darks}, UV throughput check, VISFLAT sweep, and internal UV flat check.

WFPC2 11130

AGNs with Intermediate-mass Black Holes: Testing the Black Hole-Bulge Paradigm, Part II

The recent progress in the study of central black holes in galactic nuclei has led to a general consensus that supermassive {10^6-10^9 solar mass} black holes are closely connected with the formation and evolutionary history of large galaxies, especially their bulge component. Two outstanding issues, however, remain unresolved. Can central black holes form in the absence of a bulge? And does the mass function of central black holes extend below 10^6 solar masses? Intermediate-mass black holes {<10^6 solar masses}, if they exist, may offer important clues to the nature of the seeds of supermassive black holes. Using the SDSS, our group has successfully uncovered a new population of AGNs with intermediate-mass black holes that reside in low-luminosity galaxies. However, very little is known about the detailed morphologies or structural parameters of the host galaxies themselves, including the crucial question of whether they have bulges or not. Surprisingly, the majority of the targets of our Cycle 14 pilot program have structural properties similar to dwarf elliptical galaxies. The statistics from this initial study, however, are really too sparse to reach definitive conclusions on this important new class of black holes. We wish to extend this study to a larger sample, by using the Snapshot mode to obtain WFPC2 F814W images from a parent sample of 175 AGNs with intermediate- mass black holes selected from our final SDSS search. We are particularly keen to determine whether the hosts contain bulges, and if so, how the fundamental plane properties of the host depend on the mass of their central black holes. We will also investigate the environment of this unique class of AGNs.

WFPC2 11160

Escape fraction and stellar populations in a highly magnified Lyman-Break Galaxy

Understanding how star-forming galaxies contribute to cosmic reionization is one of the frontiers of observational cosmology. A key ingredient in this issue is measuring the escape fraction of Lyman-continuum photons in high redshift galaxies (z>3). Gravitationally lensed Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) act as important laboratories for studying the resolved physical properties at sub-kpc scales with high signal-to-noise. Correlating the local escape fraction with physical parameters derived from stellar population modeling (such as the star formation rate, age and reddening) will offer new insights into understanding the physical processes involved with the production of ionizing photons. We propose here follow-up observations of the “Cosmic Eye”, a remarkable, highly magnified (x 30), Lyman-break galaxy at z~3.07 using WFPC2 and NICMOS. Deep ultraviolet WFPC2 imaging will provide a detailed study of variations in the escape fraction, while WFPC2 and NICMOS/NIC2 imaging will complement the current broad-band detections to allow a precise modeling of the spatially-dependent spectral energy distribution. This will allow the first comprehensive analysis between the escape fraction, the local SED and the dynamics of a distant galaxy.

WFPC2 11178

Probing Solar System History with Orbits, Masses, and Colors of Transneptunian Binaries

The recent discovery of numerous transneptunian binaries {TNBs} opens a window into dynamical conditions in the protoplanetary disk where they formed as well as the history of subsequent events which sculpted the outer Solar System and emplaced them onto their present day heliocentric orbits. To date, at least 47 TNBs have been discovered, but only about a dozen have had their mutual orbits and separate colors determined, frustrating their use to investigate numerous important scientific questions. The current shortage of data especially cripples scientific investigations requiring statistical comparisons among the ensemble characteristics. We propose to obtain sufficient astrometry and photometry of 23 TNBs to compute their mutual orbits and system masses and to determine separate primary and secondary colors, roughly tripling the sample for which this information is known, as well as extending it to include systems of two near-equal size bodies. To make the most efficient possible use of HST, we will use a Monte Carlo technique to optimally schedule our observations.


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


11285 – GSacq(1,2,1) failed to RGA control

During LOS the GSacq(1,2,1) scheduled at 122/01:10:43 failed to RGA control due to search radius limit exceeded on FGS 1. OBAD1 has an RSS value of 1894.84. OBAD2 had and RSS value of 3.44.

At 122/02:54:23 REAcq (1,2,1) scheduled from 02:49:00 – 02:56:20 failed to RGA control due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded on FGS 1. Pre-acquisition OBADs had an RSS value of 639.94 and 3.90 arc-seconds respectively. At 02:59:15 received 486 ESB message “a07” C Timeout-Data Valid. Initial indications show no S-curves in either X or Y axis.

11286 – GSAcq (1,2,1) failed due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded on FGS 1

At 122/04:36:05 GSAcq (1,2,1) scheduled from 04:30:50 – 04:38:09 had failed due to search radius limit exceeded on FGS 1. At 04:33:18 mnemonic F1SSCEB indicated Red High @ 10.16V, Upper Limit is set to 10. At 04:36:05 mnemonic F1SSCEA indicated Red Low @ -10.24V, Lower Limit is set to -10. Pre-acquisition OBADs RSS values were 1784.65 and 20.29 arc-seconds respectively. At 04:41:03 received 486 ESB message “a07”, FGS Coarse Track failed – Timed out waiting for data valid. Initial analysis indicates this acquisition used the same guide star pair as was used in HSTAR 11285. A total of 9 attempts at course track were observed. FGS 1 PMT counts showed a high of 9151.00293 @ 04:33:32 and a low of 573.00018 @ 04:33:56.

The REAcq (1,2,1) scheduled at 122/06:05:31 will occur during an LOS followed by a T2 slew and a new GSAcq prior to AOS. The next scheduled engineering data dump is 123/00:34:36.



                            SCHEDULED      SUCCESSFUL
FGS GSacq                09                     07
FGS REacq                06                     05
OBAD with Maneuver       30                     30


SpaceRef staff editor.