Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4948

By SpaceRef Editor
October 14, 2009
Filed under , ,


Continuing to Collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am October 8 – 5am October 9, 2009 (DOY 281/09:00z-282/09:00z)


NIC 11408

NICMOS Focus and PAM Grid Tilt Tests

The purpose of this proposal is determine the PAM settings corresponding to best focus for NIC1 and NIC2. A test will aslo be done on NIC3 in order to establish that the nominal PAM position of -9.5mm relative to mechanical zero results in an acceptable focus.

The program consists of: Visit 01: Focus sweep using NIC1 Visit 02: Focus sweep using NIC2 Visit 03: Focus sweep using NIC3 Visit 04: Uplink of revised PAM settings (if needed) Visit 05: PAM X/Y grid tilt for NIC1 Visit 06: PAM X/Y grid tilt for NIC2 Visit 07: PAM X/Y grid tilt for NIC3 Visit 08: Uplink of revised PAM X/Y parameters (if needed)

The focus sweeps are based on the normal focus monitoring proposal 11320. The tilt grid measurements are based on proposal 8977 (NIC1) and 9645 (NIC2 and NIC3).

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.

NIC2 11166

The Mass-dependent Evolution of the Black Hole-Bulge Relations

In the local universe, the masses of giant black holes are correlated with the luminosities, masses and velocity dispersions of their host galaxy bulges. This indicates a surprisingly close connection between the evolution of galactic nuclei (on parsec scales) and of stars on kpc scales. A key observational test of proposed explanations for these correlations is to measure how they have evolved over cosmic time. Our ACS imaging of 20 Seyfert 1 galaxies at z=0.37 showed them to have smaller bulges (by a factor of 3) for a given central black hole mass than is found in galaxies in the present-day universe. However, since all our sample galaxies had black hole masses in the range 10^8.0–8.5 Msun, we could only measure the OFFSET in black hole mass to bulge luminosity ratios from the present epoch. By extending this study to black hole masses another factor of 10 lower, we propose to determine the full CORRELATION of black hole mass with host galaxy properties at a lookback time of 4 Gyrs and to test mass-dependency of the evolution. We have selected 14 Seyfert galaxies from SDSS DR5 whose narrow Hbeta emission lines (and estimated nuclear luminosities) imply that they have black hole masses around 10^7 Msuns. We will soon complete our Keck spectroscopic measures of their bulge velocity dispersions. We need a 1-orbit NICMOS image of each galaxy to separate its nonstellar luminosity from its bulge and disk. This will allow us to make the first determination of the full black hole/bulge relations at z=0.37 (e.g. M-L and M-sigma), as well as a test of whether active galaxies obey the Fundamental Plane relation at that epoch.

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 11806

Coordinated Observations of LCROSS Impacts

We propose to observe the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) impacts. This program will use STIS and WFC3 to observe the Moon in conjunction with NASA’s LCROSS mission (assuming Servicing Mission 4 occurs before the LCROSS impacts). The goal is to determine whether or not water ice and/or vapor is present in the subsurface of the Moon. We will address this issue by 1) observing the sunlit ejecta plume created by the LCROSS impacts and 2) examine the Lunar exosphere for the presence of OH and other volatile species.

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/IR 11618

WFC3 Observations of VeLLOs and the Youngest Star Forming Environments

The Cores-to-Disks Spitzer Legacy team has discovered a number of extremely low luminosity sources embedded deep within nearby (< 300 pc) cores previously thought to be starless. With substellar masses, these low luminosity sources represent either the youngest low-mass protostars yet detected or the first embedded brown dwarfs. In either case, they represent a new observed class of sources referred to as VeLLOs (Very Low Luminosity Objects). We propose WFC3 F160W observations of a small sample of these sources, to be combined with deep ground-based observations at Ks, to address a broad set of issues concerning VeLLOs and the environments within which they are forming. First, the morphology of their outflow cavities will be traced, yielding estimates of the inclinations and opening angles of the cavities and the evolutionary stages of the VeLLOs. Second, our observations will reveal background stars seen through the densest regions of cores harboring these VeLLOs. The color-excesses of the background stars will yield the highest angular resolution extinction maps necessary to directly probe the inner density structure of these cores, found very soon after the onset of collapse, which would constrain the initial conditions of collapse within these isolated environments. In addition, we will construct similar maps of the dense pre-protostellar core L694-2 and the protostellar core B335. These maps will provide a snapshot of the evolution of the inner density structure of a core prior to low-mass star formation and soon thereafter, for comparison with the inner density structure of cores that have formed VeLLOs. Finally, these extinction maps will enable us to determine the core "centers", or positions of peak column densities. Comparison of these centers with the positions of the VeLLOs may yield insight regarding potential differences between the formation of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. WFC3/UVIS 11594 A WFC3 Grism Survey for Lyman Limit Absorption at z=2 We propose to conduct a spectroscopic survey of Lyman limit absorbers at redshifts 1.8 < z < 2.5, using WFC3 and the G280 grism. This proposal intends to complete an approved Cycle 15 SNAP program (10878), which was cut short due to the ACS failure. We have selected 64 quasars at 2.3 < z < 2.6 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spectroscopic Quasar Sample, for which no BAL signature is found at the QSO redshift and no strong metal absorption lines are present at z > 2.3 along the lines of sight. The survey has three main

observational goals. First, we will determine the redshift frequency dn/dz of the LLS over the column density range 16.0 < log(NHI) < 20.3 cm^-2. Second, we will measure the column density frequency distribution f(N) for the partial Lyman limit systems (PLLS) over the column density range 16.0 < log(NHI) < 17.5 cm^-2. Third, we will identify those sightlines which could provide a measurement of the primordial D/H ratio. By carrying out this survey, we can also help place meaningful constraints on two key quantities of cosmological relevance. First, we will estimate the amount of metals in the LLS using the f(N), and ground based observations of metal line transitions. Second, by determining f(N) of the PLLS, we can constrain the amplitude of the ionizing UV background at z~2 to a greater precision. This survey is ideal for a snapshot observing program, because the on-object integration times are all well below 30 minutes, and follow-up observations from the ground require minimal telescope time due to the QSO sample being bright. WFC3/UVIS 11903 UVIS Photometric Zero Points This proposal obtains the photometric zero points in 53 of the 62 UVIS/WFC3 filters: the 18 broad-band filters, 8 medium-band filters, 16 narrow-band filters, and 11 of the 20 quad filters (those being used in cycle 17). The observations will be primary obtained by observing the hot DA white dwarf standards GD153 and G191-B2B. A redder secondary standard, P330E, will be observed in a subset of the filters to provide color corrections. Repeat observations in 16 of the most widely used cycle 17 filters will be obtained once per month for the first three months, and then once every second month for the duration of cycle 17, alternating and depending on target availability. These observations will enable monitoring of the stability of the photometric system. Photometric transformation equations will be calculated by comparing the photometry of stars in two globular clusters, 47 Tuc and NGC 2419, to previous measurements with other telescopes/instruments. 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). 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: (None) COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

FGS GSAcq 10 10
FGS REAcq 06 06
OBAD with Maneuver 08 08


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