Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #5012

By SpaceRef Editor
January 15, 2010
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Continuing to Collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: 5am January 13 – 5am January 14, 2010 (DOY 013/10:00z-014/10:00z)


ACS/WFC3 11879

CCD Daily Monitor (Part 1)

This program comprises basic tests for measuring the read noise and dark current of the ACS WFC and for tracking the growth of hot pixels. The recorded frames are used to create bias and dark reference images for science data reduction and calibration. This program will be executed four days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) for the duration of Cycle 17. To facilitate scheduling, this program is split into three proposals. This proposal covers 352 orbits (22 weeks) from 31 August 2009 to 31 January 2010.

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.

STIS/CCD/MA2 11568

A SNAPSHOT Survey of the Local Interstellar Medium: New NUV Observations of Stars with Archived FUV Observations

We propose to obtain high-resolution STIS E230H SNAP observations of MgII and FeII interstellar absorption lines toward stars within 100 parsecs that already have moderate or high-resolution far-UV (FUV), 900-1700 A, observations available in the MAST Archive. Fundamental properties, such as temperature, turbulence, ionization, abundances, and depletions of gas in the local interstellar medium (LISM) can be measured by coupling such observations. Due to the wide spectral range of STIS, observations to study nearby stars also contain important data about the LISM embedded within their spectra. However, unlocking this information from the intrinsically broad and often saturated FUV absorption lines of low-mass ions, (DI, CII, NI, OI), requires first understanding the kinematic structure of the gas along the line of sight. This can be achieved with high resolution spectra of high-mass ions, (FeII, MgII), which have narrow absorption lines, and can resolve each individual velocity component (interstellar cloud). By obtaining short (~10 minute) E230H observations of FeII and MgII, for stars that already have moderate or high-resolution FUV spectra, we can increase the sample of LISM measurements, and thereby expand our knowledge of the physical properties of the gas in our galactic neighborhood. STIS is the only instrument capable of obtaining the required high resolution data now or in the foreseeable future.

WFC3/ACS/IR 11142

Revealing the Physical Nature of Infrared Luminous Galaxies at 0.3< z<2.7 Using HST and Spitzer We aim to determine physical properties of IR luminous galaxies at 0.3< z<2.7 by requesting coordinated HST/NIC2 and MIPS 70um observations of a unique, 24um flux- limited sample with complete Spitzer mid-IR spectroscopy. The 150 sources investigated in this program have S(24um) > 0.8mJy and their mid-IR spectra have already provided the majority targets with spectroscopic redshifts (0.3< z<2.7). The proposed 150~orbits of NIC2 and 66~hours of MIPS 70um will provide the physical measurements of the light distribution at the rest-frame ~8000A and better estimates of the bolometric luminosity. Combining these parameters together with the rich suite of spectral diagnostics from the mid-IR spectra, we will (1) measure how common mergers are among LIRGs and ULIRGs at 0.3< z<2.7, and establish if major mergers are the drivers of z>1 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, and (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).

WFC3/ACS/IR 11235

HST NICMOS Survey of the Nuclear Regions of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local Universe At luminosities above 10^11.4 L_sun, the space density of far-infrared selected galaxies exceeds that of optically selected galaxies. These `luminous infrared galaxies’ (LIRGs) are primarily interacting or merging disk galaxies undergoing enhanced star formation and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) activity, possibly triggered as the objects transform into massive S0 and elliptical merger remnants. We propose NICMOS NIC2 imaging of the nuclear regions of a complete sample of 88 L_IR > 10^11.4 L_sun luminous infrared galaxies in the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample (RBGS: i.e., 60 micron flux density > 5.24 Jy). This sample is ideal not only in its completeness and sample size, but also in the proximity and brightness of the galaxies. The superb sensitivity and resolution of NICMOS NIC2 on HST enables a unique opportunity to study the detailed structure of the nuclear regions, where dust obscuration may mask star clusters, AGN, and additional nuclei from optical view, with a resolution significantly higher than possible with Spitzer IRAC. This survey thus provides a crucial component to our study of the dynamics and evolution of IR galaxies presently underway with Wide-Field, HST ACS/WFC3, and Spitzer IRAC observations of these 88 galaxies. Imaging will be done with the F160W filter (H-band) to examine as a function of both luminosity and merger stage: (i) the luminosity and distribution of embedded star clusters, (ii) the presence of optically obscured AGN and nuclei, (iii) the correlation between the distribution of 1.6 micron emission and the mid-IR emission as detected by Spitzer IRAC, (iv) the evidence of bars or bridges that may funnel fuel into the nuclear region, and (v) the ages of star clusters for which photometry is available via ACS/WFC3 observations. The NICMOS data, combined with the HST ACS, Spitzer, and GALEX observations of this sample, will result in the most comprehensive study of merging and interacting galaxies to date.


A Comprehensive Study of Dust Formation in Type II Supernovae with HST, Spitzer, and Gemini

The recent discovery of three extremely bright Type II SNe, (2007it, 2007oc, 2007od) gives us a unique opportunity to combine observations with HST, Spitzer, and Gemini to study the little understood dust formation process in Type II Sne. Priority 1 Spitzer Cycle 5 and band 1 Gemini 2008A time has already been approved for this project. Since late-time Type II Sne are faint and tend to be in crowded fields, we need the high sensitivity and high spatial resolution of ACS and NICMOS/NIC2 for these observations. This project is motivated by the recent detection of large amounts of dust in high redshift galaxies. The dust in these high-z galaxies must come from young, massive stars so Type II Sne could be potential sources. The mechanism and the efficiency of dust condensation in Type II SN ejecta are not well understood, largely due to the lack of observational data. We plan to produce a unique dataset, combining spectroscopy and imaging in the visible, near- and mid-IR covering the key phase, 400-700 days after maximum when dust is known to form in the SN ejecta. Therefore, we are proposing for coordinated HST/NOAO observations (HST ACS, NICMOS/NIC2 & Gemini/GMOS and TReCS) which will be combined with our Spitzer Cycle 5 data to study these new bright Sne. The results of this program will place strong constraints on the formation of dust seen in young high redshift (z>5) galaxies.

WFC3/IR 11591

Are Low-Luminosity Galaxies Responsible for Cosmic Reionization?

Our group has demonstrated that massive clusters, acting as powerful cosmic lenses, can constrain the abundance and properties of low-luminosity star-forming sources beyond z~6; such sources are thought to be responsible for ending cosmic reionization. The large magnification possible in the critical regions of well-constrained clusters brings sources into view that lie at or beyond the limits of conventional exposures such as the UDF. We have shown that the combination of HST and Spitzer is particularly effective in delivering the physical properties of these distant sources, constraining their mass, age and past star formation history. Indirectly, we therefore gain a valuable glimpse to yet earlier epochs. Recognizing the result (and limitations) of blank field surveys, we propose a systematic search through 10 lensing clusters with ACS/F814W and WFC3/[F110W+F160W] (in conjunction with existing deep IRAC data). Our goal is to measure with great accuracy the luminosity function at z~7 over a range of at least 3 magnitude, based on the identification of about 50 lensed galaxies at 6.5< z<8. Our survey will mitigate cosmic variance and extend the search both to lower luminosities and, by virtue of the WFC3/IRAC combination, to higher redshift. Thanks to the lensing amplification spectroscopic follow-up will be possible and make our findings the most robust prior to the era of JWST and the ELTs. WFC3/IR 11838 Completing a Flux-limited Survey for X-ray Emission from Radio Jets We will measure the changing flow speeds, magnetic fields, and energy fluxes in well- resolved quasar jets found in our short-exposure Chandra survey by combining new, deep Chandra data with radio and optical imaging. We will image each jet with sufficient sensitivity to estimate beaming factors and magnetic fields in several distinct regions, and so map the variations in these parameters down the jets. HST observations will help diagnose the role of synchrotron emission in the overall SED, and may reveal condensations on scales less than 0.1 arcsec. WFC3/IR/S/C 11929 IR Dark Current Monitor Analyses of ground test data showed that dark current signals are more reliably removed from science data using darks taken with the same exposure sequences as the science data, than with a single dark current image scaled by desired exposure time. Therefore, dark current images must be collected using all sample sequences that will be used in science observations. These observations will be used to monitor changes in the dark current of the WFC3-IR channel on a day-to-day basis, and to build calibration dark current ramps for each of the sample sequences to be used by Gos in Cycle 17. For each sample sequence/array size combination, a median ramp will be created and delivered to the calibration database system (CDBS). 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 11911 UVIS L-Flats and Geometric Distortion Multiple pointing observations of the globular cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) will be used to measure the filter-dependent low frequency flat field (L-flat) corrections and stability for a key set of 10 broadband filters used by GO programs. The selected filters are F225W, F275W, F336W, F390W, F438W, F555W, F606W, F775W, F814W and F850LP. By measuring relative changes in brightness of a star over different portions of the detector, we will determine local variations in the UVIS detector response. The broad wavelength range covered by these observations will allow us to derive the L- flat correction for the remaining wide, medium and narrow-band UVIS filters. The same data will also be used to determine and correct the geometric distortion that affects UVIS data. The broad wavelength range covered by these observations will allow us to measure the geometric distortion dependence with wavelength and filters and to provide the most appropriate correction over the entire wavelength range provided by UVIS. FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY: Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be investigated.) HSTARS: #12162 GSAcq(2,3,3) @ 013/12:41z resulted in fine lock backup using FGS 2 Observations possibly affected: WFC3 #79 Proposal #11905, WFC3 #80-81 Proposal #11929 and ACS #19 Proposal #11603 COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None) COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

FGS GSAcq 8 8
FGS REAcq 7 7
OBAD with Maneuver 8 8


SpaceRef staff editor.