Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4938

By SpaceRef Editor
September 29, 2009
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Continuing to Collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am September 24 – 5am September 25, 2009 (DOY 267/09:00z-268/09:00z)


COS/NUV 11651

Is the Atmosphere of the Hottest Known Transiting Exoplanet Evaporating?

WASP-12 is the hottest and the largest currently known transiting exoplanet. It has the shortest orbital period and is the closest to its host star. Previous spectacular HST observations revealed that the atmosphere of HD 209458b appears to be evaporating away, though this interpretation has recently been questioned. We propose ultraviolet observations of WASP-12 to learn whether it is in a state of hydrodynamic ‘blow-off’ as the work on HD 209458b would suggest. We will obtain a precise radius for the planet, free from systematic errors caused by the earth’s atmosphere. We will use our data to hone models of exoplanet atmospheres.


COS-GTO: QSO Absorbers, Galaxies and Large-Scale Structures in the Local Universe

This is a program to probe the large scale structure of baryons in the universe, including addressing questions of baryon fraction, physical conditions and relationships between absorbers and large-scale structures of galaxies. Besides these specific goals, this proposed GTO program also probes a large enough total path length in Ly alpha and OVI to add significantly to what STIS/FUSE has already observed. Several Galactic High Velocity Cloud Complexes also are probed by these sightlines, particularly the M Complex. The total path length of this proposed program for Ly alpha large-scale structure surveys is delta_z~5.5.

We have selected a variety of targets to address these questions, under the following subcategories:

1. Target 8 bright BL Lac objects to search for low contrast Ly alpha absorbers from the warm-hot interstellar medium (WHIM).

2. Ly alpha cloud sizes: The targets are a bright AGN pair which yield tangential distance separations of 100–500 kpc at z=0.01–0.05, where galaxy surveys are excellent. This pair has two filaments and two voids in this distance range.

3. Probes of starburst outflows: The targets are bright AGN, <= 100 kpc in projection out of the minor axis of nearby starburst galaxies. 4. A large galaxy’s gaseous halo: Three probes of the kinematics and metallicity of a single L* galaxy halo. These observations includes G130M, G160M exposures at SNR~20 and G285M at 2850A and SNR~10 for MgII. The 2L* galaxy, ESO 157-G049 (cz=1678 km/s), being probed by these sightlines has an available H I 21cm map from ATCA, H alpha imaging from CTIO and long-slit spectra from MSSSO. 5. Dwarf galaxy winds: These targets probe the kinematics and metallicities of outflows from active and inactive (in terms of star formation) dwarfs. COS/NUV/FUV/WFC3/UVIS/IR 11534 COS-GTO: Atmosphere of a Transiting Planet COS observations of a transiting planet at different orbital locations will be useful in identifying the chemical content, size, temperature, and flows in the atmosphere of a transiting planet. NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11947 Extended Dark Monitoring This program takes a series of darks to obtain darks (including amplifier glow, dark current, and shading profiles) for all three cameras in the read-out sequences used in Cycle 17. A set of 12 orbits will be observed every two months for a total of 72 orbits for a 12 month Cycle 17. This is a continuation of Cycle 16 program 11330 scaled down by ~80%. The first orbit (Visit A0) should be scheduled in the NICMOS SMOV after the DC Transfer Test (11406) and at least 36h before the Filter Wheel Test (11407). Data download using fast track. The following 28 orbits (visit A1-N2) should be scheduled AFTER the SMOV Proposal 11407 (Filter Wheel Test). This is done in order to monitor the dark current following an adjustment of the NCS set-point. These visits should be executed until the final temperature is reached during SMOV. NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8795 NICMOS Post-SAA Calibration – CR Persistence Part 6 This is 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 ‘Use After’ 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 darks. 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. NIC2/WFC3/IR 11548 Infrared Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation We propose NICMOS and WFC3/IR 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. STIS/CCD 11844 CCD Dark Monitor Part 1 The purpose of this proposal is to monitor the darks for the STIS CCD. STIS/CCD 11846 CCD Bias Monitor-Part 1 The purpose of this proposal is to monitor the bias in the 1×1, 1×2, 2×1, and 2×2 bin settings at gain=1, and 1×1 at gain = 4, to build up high-S/N superbiases and track the evolution of hot columns. WFC3/UVIS 11905 WFC3 UVIS CCD Daily Monitor The behavior of the WFC3 UVIS CCD will be monitored daily with a set of full-frame, four-amp bias and dark frames. A smaller set of 2Kx4K subarray biases are acquired at less frequent intervals throughout the cycle to support subarray science observations. The internals from this proposal, along with those from the anneal procedure (Proposal 11909), will be used to generate the necessary superbias and superdark reference files for the calibration pipeline (CDBS). WFC3/UVIS 11908 Cycle 17: UVIS Bowtie Monitor Ground testing revealed an intermittent hysteresis type effect in the UVIS detector (both CCDs) at the level of ~1%, lasting hours to days. Initially found via an unexpected bowtie-shaped feature in flatfield ratios, subsequent lab tests on similar e2v devices have since shown that it is also present as simply an overall offset across the entire CCD, i.e., a QE offset without any discernable pattern. These lab tests have further revealed that overexposing the detector to count levels several times full well fills the traps and effectively neutralizes the bowtie. Each visit in this proposal acquires a set of three 3×3 binned internal flatfields: the first unsaturated image will be used to detect any bowtie, the second, highly exposed image will neutralize the bowtie if it is present, and the final image will allow for verification that the bowtie is gone. FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY: Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be investigated.) HSTARS: (None) COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: 18711-0 – Adjust NCS PID Control Setpoints, Part Deux @ 267/1502z COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

FGS GSAcq 04 04
FGS REAcq 10 10
OBAD with Maneuver 04 04


FLASH REPORT: NCS PID Control Setpoint Adjustment (77 K)

OR 18711-0 to adjust the NCS PID control setpoint temperature was successfully completed at 267/15:02:35 UTC. The Prime (inactive – dewar) setpoint was changed from 79.8 K to 81.8 K, and the Alternate (active – weighted-average neon) setpoint was changed from 75.0 K to 77.0 K

SpaceRef staff editor.