Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4688

By SpaceRef Editor
September 4, 2008
Filed under , ,


Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am September 3 – 5am September 4, 2008 (DOY 247/0900z-248/0900z)


NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11820

NICMOS Post-SAA Calibration – CR Persistence Part 7

Internals for CR persistence

NIC2 11219

Active Galactic Nuclei in Nearby Galaxies: a New View of the Origin of the Radio-loud Radio- quiet Dichotomy?

Using archival HST and Chandra observations of 34 nearby early-type galaxies {drawn from a complete radio selected sample} we have found evidence that the radio-loud/radio-quiet dichotomy is directly connected to the structure of the inner regions of their host galaxies in the following sense: [1] Radio-loud AGN are associated with galaxies with shallow cores in their light profiles [2] Radio-quiet AGN are only hosted by galaxies with steep cusps. Since the brightness profile is determined by the galaxy’s evolution, through its merger history, our results suggest that the same process sets the AGN flavour. This provides us with a novel tool to explore the co-evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes, and it opens a new path to understand the origin of the radio-loud/radio-quiet AGN dichotomy. Currently our analysis is statistically incomplete as the brightness profile is not available for 82 of the 116 targets. Most galaxies were not observed with HST, while in some cases the study is obstructed by the presence of dust features. We here propose to perform an infrared NICMOS snapshot survey of these 82 galaxies. This will enable us to i} test the reality of the dichotomic behaviour in a substantially larger sample; ii} extend the comparison between radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN to a larger range of luminosities.

NIC2 11548

NICMOS Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation

We propose NICMOS observations of a sample of 252 protostars identified in the Orion A cloud with the Spitzer Space Telescope. These observations will image the scattered light escaping the protostellar envelopes, providing information on the shapes of outflow cavities, the inclinations of the protostars, and the overall morphologies of the envelopes. In addition, we ask for Spitzer time to obtain 55-95 micron spectra of 75 of the protostars. Combining these new data with existing 3.6 to 70 micron photometry and forthcoming 5-40 micron spectra measured with the Spitzer Space Telescope, we will determine the physical properties of the protostars such as envelope density, luminosity, infall rate, and outflow cavity opening angle. By examining how these properties vary with stellar density (i.e. clusters vs groups vs isolation) and the properties of the surrounding molecular cloud; we can directly measure how the surrounding environment influences protostellar evolution, and consequently, the formation of stars and planetary systems. Ultimately, this data will guide the development of a theory of protostellar evolution.

WFPC2 11156

Monitoring Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune

We propose Snapshot observations of Uranus and Neptune to monitor changes in their atmospheres on time scales of weeks and months. Uranus equinox is only months away, in December 2007. Hubble Space Telescope observations during the past several years {Hammel et al. 2005, Icarus 175, 284 and references therein} have revealed strongly wavelength- dependent latitudinal structure, the presence of numerous visible-wavelength cloud features in the northern hemisphere, at least one very long-lived discrete cloud in the southern hemisphere, and in 2006 the first dark spot ever seen on Uranus. Long-term ground-based observations {Lockwood and Jerzekiewicz, 2006, Icarus 180, 442; Hammel and Lockwood 2007, Icarus 186, 291} reveal seasonal brightness changes whose origins are not well understood. Recent near- IR images of Neptune obtained using adaptive optics on the Keck Telescope, together with HST observations {Sromovsky et al. 2003, Icarus 163, 256 and references therein} which include previous Snapshot programs {GO 8634, 10170, 10534} show a general increase in activity at south temperate latitudes until 2004, when Neptune returned to a rather Voyager-like appearance. Further Snapshot observations of these two dynamic planets will elucidate the nature of long-term changes in their zonal atmospheric bands and clarify the processes of formation, evolution, and dissipation of discrete albedo features.

WFPC2 11327

Red leaks

The aim of this program is to measure the red leaks in the 8 WFPC2 UV??? filters (F122M, F300W, F255W, F218W, F185W, F170W, F160BW, F122M). We will use red crossing filters to isolate and directly measure the leaks. No observations of this kind have ever been performed with WFPC2 to check the red leaks in the UV filters, most of them being extensively used by GO/GTO programs. A previous calibration program has only imaged spectrophotometric standard stars with UV filters (no filter crossing) thus the red leak is hard to measure using this data. The throughput curves for some of the UV filters (F300W, F255W, F218W, F185W) in synphot have incomplete information, some of them have gaps in the measurements as wide as 3000A.

WFPC2 11795

WFPC2 Cycle 16 UV Earth Flats

Monitor flat field stability. This proposal obtains sequences of earth streak flats to improve the quality of pipeline flat fields for the WFPC2 UV filter set. These Earth flats will complement the UV earth flat data obtained during cycles 8-15.


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


11465 – GSAcq(2,0,2) & ReAcq(2,0,2) failed to RGA Hold (Gyro Control)

GSAcq(2,0,2) scheduled at 247/11:11:12z & ReAcq(2,0,2) scheduled at 247/12:47:49z failed due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded Error on FGS-2.

Possible Observations affected: NICMOS 56-59, Proposal ID #11548.

11467 – GSAcq(1,2,2) failed

GSAcq (1,2,2) scheduled from 247/23:57:40 – 248/00:05:06 had failed due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded on FGS 2. Mnemonics QF2SRLEX, QF2STOPF, QSRCHEXC and QSTOP flagged out.

Observations affected: NICMOS Proposal 11548, observations 76, 77, 78


17543-2 – Dump OBAD Tables after Failed OBAD


                        SCHEDULED      SUCCESSFUL

FGS GSacq                12                  10
FGS REacq                02                  01
OBAD with Maneuver       28                  27


SpaceRef staff editor.