- Press Release
- Oct 5, 2022
NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #5097
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DAILY REPORT #5097
Continuing to Collect World Class Science
PERIOD COVERED: 5am May 14 – 5am May 17, 2010 (DOY 134/09:00z-137/09:00z)
FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:
Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be investigated.)
COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)
COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)
FGS GSAcq 19 19
FGS REAcq 19 19
OBAD with Maneuver 18 18
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)
Persistence – Part 2
The IR detectors on WFC3, like other IR detectors, trap charge when exposed to sources near or above the full well of the detector diodes. This charge leaks out, producing detectable afterglow images for periods which can last for several hours, depending on the amount of over exposure. These visits, which consist of tungsten lamp exposures of varying durations followed by darks, are intended to provide a better calibration of persistence over the full area of the IR detector of WFC3.
An Irradiated Disk in an Ultraluminous X-Ray Source
Whether ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) contain stellar-mass or intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is an important, but as yet unresolved, astrophysical question. We have discovered variable optical emission from the ULX NGC 5408 X-1 that we interpret as reprocessed emission in an irradiated disk. We propose simultaneous observations with Chandra and HST to test this interpretation and place constraints on the geometry of the accretion disk. The observations should provide a means to discriminate between stellar-mass versus intermediate-mass black holes.
CCD Daily Monitor (Part 2)
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 320 orbits (20 weeks) from 1 February 2010 to 20 June 2010.
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).
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.
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).
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.
CCD Bias Monitor-Part 2
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.
CCD Dark Monitor Part 2
Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.
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.
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.
The Impact of Starbursts on the Gaseous Halos of Galaxies
Perhaps the most important (yet uncertain) aspects of galaxy evolution are the processes by which galaxies accrete gas and by which the resulting star formation and black hole growth affects this accreting gas. It is believed that both the form of the accretion and the nature of the feedback change as a function of the galaxy mass. At low mass the gas comes in cold and the feedback is provided by massive stars. At high mass, the gas comes in hot, and the feedback is from an AGN. The changeover occurs near the mass where the galaxy population transitions from star-forming galaxies to red and dead ones. The population of red and dead galaxies is building with cosmic time, and it is believed that feedback plays an important role in this process: shutting down star formation by heating and/or expelling the reservoir of cold halo gas. To investigate these ideas, we propose to use COS far-UV spectra of background QSOs to measure the properties of the halo gas in a sample of galaxies near the transition mass that have undergone starbursts within the past 100 Myr to 1 Gyr. The galactic wind associated with the starburst is predicted to have affected the properties of the gaseous halo. To test this, we will compare the properties of the halos of the post-starburst galaxies to those of a control sample of galaxies matched in mass and QSO impact parameter. Do the halos of the post-starburst galaxies show a higher incidence rate of Ly-Alpha and metal absorption-lines? Are the kinematics of the halo gas more disturbed in the post-starbursts? Has the wind affected the ionization state and/or the metallicity of the halo? These data will provide fresh new insights into the role of feedback from massive stars on the evolution of galaxies, and may also offer clues about the properties of the QSO metal absorption-line systems at high-redshift .
Detailed Analysis of Carbon Atmosphere White Dwarfs
We propose to obtain UV spectra for the newly discovered white dwarf stars with a carbon- dominated atmosphere. Model calculations show that these stars emit most of their light in the UV part of the electromagnetic spectrum and that an accurate determination of the flux in this region is crucial for an accurate determination of the atmospheric parameters. It will also provide a unique opportunity to test the atomic data and broadening theory in stellar conditions never met before. This will play a primordial role in our path to understand the origin of these objects as well to obtain a better understanding of the evolution of stars in general. The principal objective we hope to achieve with these observations are 1) obtain accurate surface gravity/mass for these stars, 2) constrain/determine the abundance of other elements (O, He, Mg, Ne etc.), especially oxygen, 3) verify the accuracy of the various theoretical atomic data used in the model calculations, 4) understand the origin and evolution of carbon atmosphere white dwarfs, in particular whether progenitor stars as massive as 10.5 solar masses can produce white dwarfs, rather than supernovae. We propose to observe 5 objects chosen carefully to cover the range of observed properties among carbon atmosphere white dwarfs (effective temperature, surface gravity, abundance of hydrogen/helium and magnetic field).
Physical Properties of Quasar Outflows: From BALs to Mini-BALs
Accretion disk outflows are important components of quasar environments. They might play a major role in facilitating accretion, regulating star formation in the host galaxies and distributing metals to the surrounding gas. They reveal themselves most conspicuously via broad absorption lines (BALs), but they appear even more frequently in other guises such as the weaker and narrower “mini-BALs.” How are these diverse outflow features related? Are mini-BALs really just “mini” versions of the BALs, or do they represent a fundamentally different type of outflow, with different degrees of ionization, column densities, mass loss rates, physical origins, etc.?
We propose HST-COS spectroscopy to make the first quantitative assessment of the outflow physical conditions across the full range of weak/narrow mini-BALs to strong/broad BALs. Our strategy is to measure key diagnostic lines (SVI, OVI, CIII, SIV, PV, etc.) at 930A – 1130A (rest- frame) in a sample of 7 outflow quasars with known mini-BALs through weak BALs. We will then 1) combine the COS data with ground-based spectra of the same quasars to include more lines (CIV, SiIV) at longer wavelengths, and 2) include in our analysis a nearly identical UV/optical dataset obtained previously for a sample of quasars with strong BALs. Our study of this combined dataset will be an essential next step toward a more global understanding of quasar outflows.
Bright Galaxies at z>7.5 with a WFC3 Pure Parallel Survey
The epoch of reionization represents a special moment in the history of the Universe as it is during this era that the first galaxies and star clusters are formed. Reionization also profoundly affects the environment where subsequent generations of galaxies evolve. Our overarching goal is to test the hypothesis that galaxies are responsible for reionizing neutral hydrogen. To do so we propose to carry out a pure parallel WFC3 survey to constrain the bright end of the redshift z>7.5 galaxy luminosity function on a total area of 176 arcmin^2 of sky. Extrapolating the evolution of the luminosity function from z~6, we expect to detect about 20 Lyman Break Galaxies brighter than M_* at z~8 significantly improving the current sample of only a few galaxies known at these redshifts. Finding significantly fewer objects than predicted on the basis of extrapolation from z=6 would set strong limits to the brightness of M_*, highlighting a fast evolution of the luminosity function with the possible implication that galaxies alone cannot reionize the Universe. Our observations will find the best candidates for spectroscopic confirmation, that is bright z>7.5 objects, which would be missed by small area deeper surveys. The random pointing nature of the program is ideal to beat cosmic variance, especially severe for luminous massive galaxies, which are strongly clustered. In fact our survey geometry of 38 independent fields will constrain the luminosity function like a contiguous single field survey with two times more area at the same depth. Lyman Break Galaxies at z>7.5 down to m_AB=26.85 (5 sigma) in F125W will be selected as F098M dropouts, using three to five orbits visits that include a total of four filters (F606W, F098M, F125W, F160W) optimized to remove low-redshift interlopers and cool stars. Our data will be highly complementary to a deep field search for high- z galaxies aimed at probing the faint end of the luminosity function, allowing us to disentangle the degeneracy between faint end slope and M_* in a Schechter function fit of the luminosity function. We waive proprietary rights for the data. In addition, we commit to release the coordinates and properties of our z>7.5 candidates within one month from the acquisition of each field.
On the Evolutionary Status of Extremely Hot Helium Stars – are the O(He) Stars Successors of the R CrB Stars?
We propose UV spectroscopy of the four unique post-AGB stars of spectral type O(He) in order to understand the origin of their peculiar surface abundances. These stars are the only known amongst the hottest post-AGB stars (effective temperatures > 100, 000 K) whose atmospheres are composed of almost pure helium. This chemistry markedly differs from that of the hydrogen-deficient post-AGB evolutionary sequence with objects which have carbon dominated atmospheres (PG1159 stars and Wolf-Rayet central stars).
While PG1159 and Wolf-Rayet stars are the result of a late helium-shell flash, this scenario cannot explain the O(He) stars. Instead, they are possibly double-degenerate mergers. We speculate that the four O(He) stars represent evolved RCrB stars, which also have helium-dominated atmospheres. We aim to determine the C, N, O, and Si abundances precisely, in order to proof this evolutionary link.
Infrared Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
We propose to use the unique power of WFC3 slitless spectroscopy to measure the evolution of cosmic star formation from the end of the reionization epoch at z>6 to the close of the galaxy- building era at z~0.3.Pure parallel observations with the grisms have proven to be efficient for identifying line emission from galaxies across a broad range of redshifts. The G102 grism on WFC3 was designed to extend this capability to search for Ly-alpha emission from the first galaxies. Using up to 250 orbits of pure parallel WFC3 spectroscopy, we will observe about 40 deep (4-5 orbit) fields with the combination of G102 and G141, and about 20 shallow (2-3 orbit) fields with G141 alone.
Our primary science goals at the highest redshifts are: (1) Detect Lya in ~100 galaxies with z>5.6 and measure the evolution of the Lya luminosity function, independent of of cosmic variance; 2) Determine the connection between emission line selected and continuum-break selected galaxies at these high redshifts, and 3) Search for the proposed signature of neutral hydrogen absorption at re-ionization. At intermediate redshifts we will (4) Detect more than 1000 galaxies in Halpha at 0.5< z<1.8 to measure the evolution of the extinction-corrected star formation density across the peak epoch of star formation. This is over an order-of-magnitude improvement in the current statistics, from the NICMOS Parallel grism survey. (5) Trace ``cosmic downsizing" from 0.5< z<2.2; and (6) Estimate the evolution in reddening and metallicty in star- forming galaxies and measure the evolution of the Seyfert population. For hundreds of spectra we will be able to measure one or even two line pair ratios -- in particular, the Balmer decrement and [OII]/[OIII] are sensitive to gas reddening and metallicity. As a bonus, the G102 grism offers the possibility of detecting Lya emission at z=7-8.8. To identify single-line Lya emitters, we will exploit the wide 0.8–1.9um wavelength coverage of the combined G102+G141 spectra. All [OII] and [OIII] interlopers detected in G102 will be reliably separated from true LAEs by the detection of at least one strong line in the G141 spectrum, without the need for any ancillary data. We waive all proprietary rights to our data and will make high-level data products available through the ST/ECF. WFC3/IR 11666 Chilly Pairs: A Search for the Latest-type Brown Dwarf Binaries and the Prototype Y Dwarf We propose to use HST/NICMOS to image a sample of 27 of the nearest (< 20 pc) and lowest luminosity T-type brown dwarfs in order to identify and characterize new very low mass binary systems. Only 3 late-type T dwarf binaries have been found to date, despite that fact that these systems are critical benchmarks for evolutionary and atmospheric models at the lowest masses. They are also the most likely systems to harbor Y dwarf companions, an as yet unpopulated putative class of very cold (T < 600 K) brown dwarfs. Our proposed program will more than double the number of T5-T9 dwarfs imaged at high resolution, with an anticipated yield of ~5 new binaries with initial characterization of component spectral types. We will be able to probe separations sufficient to identify systems suitable for astrometric orbit and dynamical mass measurements. We also expect one of our discoveries to contain the first Y-type brown dwarf. Our proposed program complements and augments ongoing ground-based adaptive optics surveys and provides pathway science for JWST. WFC3/IR/ACS/WFC 11663 Formation and Evolution of Massive Galaxies in the Richest Environments at 1.5 < z < 2.0 We propose to image seven 1.5< z<2 clusters and groups from the IRAC Shallow Cluster Survey with WFC3 and ACS in order to study the formation and evolution of massive galaxies in the richest environments in the Universe in this important redshift range. We will measure the evolution of the sizes and morphologies of massive cluster galaxies, as a function of redshift, richness, radius and local density. In combination with allocated Keck spectroscopy, we will directly measure the dry merger fraction in these clusters, as well as the evolution of Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs) over this redshift range where clear model predictions can be confronted. Finally we will measure both the epoch of formation of the stellar populations and the assembly history of that stellar mass, the two key parameters in the modern galaxy formation paradigm. WFC3/UVIS/IR 11644 A Dynamical-Compositional Survey of the Kuiper Belt: A New Window Into the Formation of the Outer Solar System The eight planets overwhelmingly dominate the solar system by mass, but their small numbers, coupled with their stochastic pasts, make it impossible to construct a unique formation history from the dynamical or compositional characteristics of them alone. In contrast, the huge numbers of small bodies scattered throughout and even beyond the planets, while insignificant by mass, provide an almost unlimited number of probes of the statistical conditions, history, and interactions in the solar system. To date, attempts to understand the formation and evolution of the Kuiper Belt have largely been dynamical simulations where a hypothesized starting condition is evolved under the gravitational influence of the early giant planets and an attempt is made to reproduce the current observed populations. With little compositional information known for the real Kuiper Belt, the test particles in the simulation are free to have any formation location and history as long as they end at the correct point. Allowing compositional information to guide and constrain the formation, thermal, and collisional histories of these objects would add an entire new dimension to our understanding of the evolution of the outer solar system. While ground based compositional studies have hit their flux limits already with only a few objects sampled, we propose to exploit the new capabilities of WFC3 to perform the first ever large-scale dynamical-compositional study of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and their progeny to study the chemical, dynamical, and collisional history of the region of the giant planets. The sensitivity of the WFC3 observations will allow us to go up to two magnitudes deeper than our ground based studies, allowing us the capability of optimally selecting a target list for a large survey rather than simply taking the few objects that can be measured, as we have had to do to date. We have carefully constructed a sample of 120 objects which provides both overall breadth, for a general understanding of these objects, plus a large enough number of objects in the individual dynamical subclass to allow detailed comparison between and within these groups. These objects will likely define the core Kuiper Belt compositional sample for years to come. While we have many specific results anticipated to come from this survey, as with any project where the field is rich, our current knowledge level is low, and a new instrument suddenly appears which can exploit vastly larger segments of the population, the potential for discovery — both anticipated and not — is extraordinary. STIS/CC 11626 Searching for the Upper Mass Limit in NGC 3603, the Nearest Giant H II Region What is the mass of the highest mass star? 100Mo? 150Mo? 200Mo? Or higher? Theory gives us little guidance as to what physics sets the upper mass limit, presuming one exists. Is it due to limitations in the highest masses that can coalesce? Or is it due to stability issues in such a behemoth? Observationally, the upper mass limit is poorly constrained at present, with the strongest evidence coming from the K-band luminosity function of the Arches cluster near the Galactic Center. Here we propose to investigate this question by determining the Initial Mass Function of NGC 3603, the nearest giant H II region. This cluster is known to contain a wealth of O3 and hydrogen-rich Wolf-Rayets, the most luminous and massive of stars. By constructing an accurate H-R diagram for the cluster, we will construct a present day mass function using newly computed high mass evolutionary tracks, and convert this to an initial mass function using the inferred ages. This will allow us to see whether or not there is a true deficit of high mass stars, evidence of an upper mass cutoff. At the same time we are likely to establish good masses for the highest mass stars ever determined. We have laid the groundwork for this project using the Magellan 6.5-m telescope and the excellent seeing found on Las Campanas, plus analysis of archival ACS/HRS frames, but we now need to obtain spectra of the stars unobservable from the ground. This can only be done with HST and a reburbished STIS. WFC3/UV 11605 Obtaining the Missing Links in the Test of Very Low Mass Evolutionary Models with HST We are proposing for spatially resolved ACS+HRC observations of 11 very low mass binaries spanning late-M, L and T spectral types in order to obtain precise effective temperature measurements for each component. All of our targets are part of a program in which we are measuring dynamical masses of very low-mass binaries to an unprecedented precision of 10% (or better). However, without precise temperature measurements, the full scientific value of these mass measurements cannot be realized. Together, mass and temperature measurements will allow us to distinguish between brown dwarf evolutionary models that make different assumptions about the interior and atmospheric structure of these ultra-cool objects. While dynamical masses can be obtained from the ground in the near-IR, obtaining precise temperatures require access to optical data which, for these sub-arcsecond binaries, can only be obtained from space with Hubble. WFC3/ACS/IR 11597 Spectroscopy of IR-Selected Galaxy Clusters at 1 < z < 1.5 We propose to obtain WFC3 G141 and G102 slitless spectroscopy of galaxy clusters at 1 < z < 1.5 that were selected from the IRAC survey of the Bootes NDWFS field. Our IRAC survey contains the largest sample of spectroscopically confirmed clusters at z > 1. The WFC3 grism data will measure H-alpha to determine SFR, and fit models to the low resolution continua to determine stellar population histories for the brighter cluster members, and redshifts for the red galaxies too faint for ground-based optical spectroscopy.
Turning Out the Light: A WFC3 Program to Image z>2 Damped Lyman Alpha Systems
We propose to directly image the star-forming regions of z>2 damped Lya systems (DLAs) using the WFC3/UVIS camera on the Hubble Space Telescope. In contrast to all previous attempts to detect the galaxies giving rise to high redshift DLAs, we will use a novel technique that completely removes the glare of the background quasar. Specifically, we will target quasar sightlines with multiple DLAs and use the higher redshift DLA as a “blocking filter” (via Lyman limit absorption) to eliminate all FUV emission from the quasar. This will allow us to carry out a deep search for FUV emission from the lower redshift DLA, shortward of the Lyman limit of the higher redshift absorber. The unique filter set and high spatial resolution afforded by WFC3/UVIS will then enable us to directly image the lower redshift DLA and thus estimate its size, star- formation rate and impact parameter from the QSO sightline. We propose to observe a sample of 20 sightlines, selected primarily from the SDSS database, requiring a total of 40 HST orbits. The observations will allow us to determine the first FUV luminosity function of high redshift DLA galaxies and to correlate the DLA galaxy properties with the ISM characteristics inferred from standard absorption-line analysis to significantly improve our understanding of the general DLA population.
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.
The Nature of Low-Ionization BAL QSOs
The rare subclass of optically-selected QSOs known as low-ionization broad absorption line (LoBAL) QSOs show signs of high-velocity gas outflows and reddened continua indicative of dust obscuration. Recent studies show that galaxies hosting LoBAL QSOs tend to be ultraluminous infrared systems that are undergoing mergers, and that have dominant young (< 100 Myr) stellar populations. Such studies support the idea that LoBAL QSOs represent a short- lived phase early in the life of QSOs, when powerful AGN-driven winds are blowing away the dust and gas surrounding the QSO. If so, understanding LoBALs would be critical in the study of phenomena regulating black hole and galaxy evolution, such as AGN feedback and the early stages of nuclear accretion. These results, however, come from very small samples that may have serious selection biases. We are therefore taking a more aggressive approach by conducting a systematic multiwavelength study of a volume limited sample of LoBAL QSOs at 0.5 < z < 0.6 drawn from SDSS. We propose to image their host galaxies in two bands using WFC3/UVIS and WFC3/IR to study the morphologies for signs of recent tidal interactions and to map their interaction and star forming histories. We will thus determine whether LoBAL QSOs are truly exclusively found in young merging systems that are likely to be in the early stages of nuclear accretion. 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).