Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #5168

By SpaceRef Editor
August 26, 2010
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to Collect World Class Science


PERIOD COVERED: 5am August 25 – 5am August 26, 2010 (DOY 237/09:00z-238/09:00z)


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

HSTARS: (None)


18887-0 – Install COS CS FSW 4.11 @ 237/1542z


FGS GSAcq 05 05
FGS REAcq 10 10
OBAD with Maneuver 05 05


COS FSW 4.11 was successfully installed and verified by the FSW team at 237/15:42.


ACS/WFC 11996

CCD Daily Monitor (Part 3)

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 308 orbits (19.25 weeks) from 21 June 2010 to 1 November 2010.

STIS/CCD 11845

CCD Dark Monitor Part 2

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

STIS/CCD 11847

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.


GHOSTS: Stellar Outskirts of Massive Spiral Galaxies

We propose to continue our highly successful GHOSTS HST survey of the resolved stellar populations of nearby, massive disk galaxies using SNAPs. These observations provide star counts and color-magnitude diagrams 2-3 magnitudes below the tip of the Red Giant Branch of the outer disk and halo of each galaxy. We will measure the metallicity distribution functions and stellar density profiles from star counts down to very low average surface brightnesses, equivalent to ~32 V-mag per square arcsec.

This proposal will substantially improve our unique sampling of galaxy outskirts. Our targets cover a range in galaxy mass, luminosity, inclination, and morphology. As a function of these galaxy properties, this survey provides: – the most extensive, systematic measurement of radial light profiles and axial ratios of the diffuse stellar halos and outer disks of spiral galaxies; – a comprehensive analysis of halo metallicity distributions as function of galaxy type and position within the galaxy; – an unprecedented study of the stellar metallicity and age distribution in the outer disk regions where the disk truncations occur; – the first comparative study of globular clusters and their field stellar populations.

We will use these fossil records of the galaxy assembly process to test halo formation models within the hierarchical galaxy formation scheme.

WFC3/IR 11694

Mapping the Interaction Between High-Redshift Galaxies and the Intergalactic Environment

With the commissioning of the high-throughput large-area camera WFC3/IR, it is possible for the first time to undertake an efficient survey of the rest-frame optical morphologies of galaxies at the peak epoch of star formation in the universe. We therefore propose deep WFC3/IR imaging of over 320 spectroscopically confirmed galaxies between redshift 1.6 < z < 3.4 in well-studied fields which lie along the line of sight to bright background QSOs. The spectra of these bright QSOs probe the IGM in the vicinity of each of the foreground galaxies along the line of sight, providing detailed information on the physical state of the gas at large galactocentric radii. In combination with our densely sampled UV/IR spectroscopy, stellar population models, and kinematic data in these fields, WFC3/IR imaging data will permit us to construct a comprehensive picture of the structure, dynamics, and star formation properties of a large population of galaxies in the early universe and their effect upon their cosmological environment. WFC3/IR 11708 Determining the Sub-stellar IMF in the Most Massive Young Milky Way Cluster, Westerlund 1 Despite over 50 years of active research, a key question in galactic astronomy remains unanswered: is the initial mass function (IMF) of stars and sub-stellar objects universal, or does it depend on initial conditions? The answer has profound consequences for the evolution of galaxies as well as a predictive theory of star formation. Work to date suggests that certain environments (high densities, e.g. Elmegreen 2004; low metallicity, e.g. Larson 2005) should produce a top-heavy IMF, and there are hints from unresolved star-bursts that this might be the case. Yet, there is no clear evidence for an IMF that differs from that characterizing the Galactic field stars in a resolved stellar population down to one solar mass. Westerlund 1 is the most massive young star cluster known in the Milky Way. With an estimated mass of 5×10^4 Msun, an age of 3-5 Myr, and located at a distance of 3-4 kpc, it presents a unique opportunity to test whether the IMF in such a cluster deviates from the norm well down into the brown dwarf regime. We propose WFC3 near-IR imaging to probe the IMF down to 40 Jupiter masses. The data will enable use to: 1) provide a stringent test of the universality of the IMF under conditions approximating those of star-bursts; 2) search for primordial or dynamic mass segregation in the clusters; and 3) assess whether the cluster is likely to remain bound (as a massive open cluster) or disperse into the field. We will obtain images in the F125W, F160W, and F139M filters. The F139M filter covers a strong water absorption feature and the color F125W/F139M is a powerful temperature diagnostic in the range 2800-4000 K. This information will enable us to: a) confirm membership for low mass stars suspected on the basis of their position in the color-magnitude diagram; b) place the members in the HR diagram; and c) estimate the masses and ages of cluster members for low-mass stars and sub-stellar objects. This new capability offered with the WFC3 (through a novel combination of filter complement, high spatial resolution, and large field of view) will enable us to make a fundamental test of whether the IMF is universal on a unique resolved stellar population, as well as assess the clusters structure, dynamics, and ultimate fate. WFC3/IR 11926 IR Zero Points We will measure and monitor the zeropoints through the IR filters using observations of the white dwarf standard stars, GD153, GD71 and GD191B2B and the solar analog standard star, P330E. Data will be taken monthly during Cycle 17. Observations of the star cluster, NGC 104, are made twice to check color transformations. We expect an accuracy of 2% in the wide filter zeropoints relative to the HST photometric system, and 5% in the medium- and narrow-band filters. WFC3/IR 11928 WFC3/IR Low-Frequency Flat and Geometric Distortion Multiple observations of globular cluster Omega Cen at multiple infrared wavelengths of IR detector will be used to derive filter dependency of low-frequency sensitivity (L_flat fields) across of IR detector and its time variation. Additionally, the same data will be also used to derive filter-dependant geometric distortion of the detector and its time-dependency. 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 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.

SpaceRef staff editor.