Status Report

NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Status Report # 3563

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2004
Filed under , ,

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE – Continuing to collect World Class Science




NIC3 9999

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels

The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey NICMOS Parallels. This program is a
companion to program 9822.

ACS 9984

Cosmic Shear With ACS Pure Parallels

Small distortions in the shapes of background galaxies by foreground
mass provide a powerful method of directly measuring the amount and
distribution of dark matter. Several groups have recently detected
this weak lensing by large-scale structure, also called cosmic shear.
The high resolution and sensitivity of HST/ACS provide a unique
opportunity to measure cosmic shear accurately on small scales. Using
260 parallel orbits in Sloan textiti {F775W} we will measure for the
first time: beginlistosetlength sep0cm setlengthemsep0cm setlength
opsep0cm em the cosmic shear variance on scales <0.7 arcmin, em the
skewness of the shear distribution, and em the magnification effect.
endlist Our measurements will determine the amplitude of the mass
power spectrum sigma_8Omega_m^0.5, with signal-to-noise {s/n} ~ 20,
and the mass density Omega_m with s/n=4. They will be done at small
angular scales where non-linear effects dominate the power spectrum,
providing a test of the gravitational instability paradigm for
structure formation. Measurements on these scales are not possible
from the ground, because of the systematic effects induced by PSF
smearing from seeing. Having many independent lines of sight reduces
the uncertainty due to cosmic variance, making parallel observations


Gravitational Microlensing in the NGC 3314A-B Galaxy Pair

Determining the composition of the dark matter that dominates the
masses of galaxies is an important unsolved problem, and the results
of the MACHO Collaboration suggest that some of Milky Way’s dark
matter may be in the form of very old white dwarfs. However, some have
argued that the excess of microlensing events seen by MACHO are due to
a larger than expected microlensing rate for lens stars in the LMC
itself or its tidal debris. We propose to address this question by
detecting microlensing events in the line-of-sight galaxy pair NGC
3314 A & B. The large line-of-sight distance between these galaxies
gives an optical depth that is 3-4 orders of magnitude larger than if
the source stars and lenses were in the same galaxy, and the fact that
the background galaxy is a spiral ensures that there will be a
sufficient number of bright, non-variable source stars. Our proposed
observations should have the sensitivity to detect microlensing by
both ordinary stars and dark matter in NGC 3314A {the foreground
galaxy}. If there are dark matter microlensing events to be found,
they can be clearly distinguished from stellar microlensing events
because they will occur outside the visible disk of NGC 3314A. If
baryonic dark matter is detected in NGC 3314A, we will be able to map
its radial density variation.

NIC/NIC3 9865

The NICMOS Parallel Observing Program

We propose to continue managing the NICMOS pure parallel program.
Based on our experience, we are well prepared to make optimal use of
the parallel opportunities. The improved sensitivity and efficiency of
our observations will substantially increase the number of
line-emitting galaxies detected. As our previous work has
demonstrated, the most frequently detected line is Halpha at
0.7<z<1.9, which provides an excellent measure of current star
formation rate. We will also detect star-forming and active galaxies
in other redshift ranges using other emission lines. The grism
observations will produce by far the best available Halpha luminosity
functions over the crucial–but poorly observed–redshift range where
galaxies appear to have assembled most of their stellar mass. This key
process of galaxy evolution needs to be studied with IR data; we found
that observations at shorter wavelengths appear to have missed a large
fraction of the star-formation in galaxies, due to dust reddening. We
will also obtain deep F110W and F160W images, to examine the space
densities and morphologies of faint red galaxies. In addition to
carrying out the public parallels, we will make the fully reduced and
calibrated images and spectra available on-line, with some
ground-based data for the deepest parallel fields included.

ACS/WFC 9861

ACS Imaging of beta Pic: Searching for the origin of rings and
asymmetry in planetesimal disks

The emerging picture for planetesimal disks around main sequence stars
is that their radial and azimuthal symmetries are significantly
deformed by the dynamical effects of either planets interior to the
disk, or stellar objects exterior to the disk. The cause of these
structures, such as the 50 AU cutoff of our Kuiper Belt, remains
mysterious. Structure in the beta Pic planetesimal disk could be due
to dynamics controlled by an extrasolar planet, or by the tidal
influence of a more massive object exterior to the disk. The
hypothesis of an extrasolar planet causing the vertical deformation in
the disk predicts a blue color to the disk perpendicular to the disk
midplane. The hypothesis that a stellar perturber deforms the disk
predicts a globally uniform color and the existence of ring-like
structure beyond 800 AU radius. We propose to obtain deep, multi-color
images of the beta Pic disk ansae in the region 15"-220" {200-4000 AU}
radius with the ACS WFC. The unparalleled stability of the HST PSF
means that these data are uniquely capable of delivering the color
sensitivity that can distinguish between the two theories of beta
Pic’s disk structure. Ascertaining the cause of such structure provide
a meaningful context for understanding the dynamical history of our
early solar system, as well as other planetesimal systems imaged
around main sequence stars.


A tailored survey of proplyds with the ACS

While our specific understanding of the proto-planetary disks in Orion
is increasing, our general knowledge of what promotes and hinders
their birth and longevity is hampered by having good observations in
only this one region. Observations of proplyds in other regions with
different conditions of ultraviolet irradiation and age can provide
more stringent tests of our present models. We have therefore designed
an ACS/WFC and parallel WFC2 survey of open clusters embedded in H II
regions that, with a small number of orbits, maximizes the probability
of successfully finding proplyds there. Our observing strategy will
additionally afford a quantitative study of the detected proplyds, as
well as the derivation of a correlation between those characteristics
and the clusters’ stellar population. ACS gives us an unprecedented
opportunity to kick start the mass discovery of proplyds in many
environments, an obvious way in which progress can be made in this
field. This small tailored survey, gives us an excellent chance to
obtain a huge return at low cost.


A SNAPSHOT Survey of Sharp-Lined Early B-Type Stars

Although spectrum synthesis studies of the UV spectra of sharp-lined
main sequence B stars provide us with some our best determinations of
the abundances of the Fe group and neutron capture elements and the
chemical evolution in our galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, the HST
archive is virtually devoid of high resolution spectra of the bright
nearby B stars that have become to be regarded as abundance standards.
For example, there are NO observations of HR 1886, iota Her, and tau
Her, the sharpest-lined representatives {V sin i < 5 km/s} of spectral
classes B1 V, B3 IV-V and B5 IV, and only a few tiny spectral
intervals of gamma Peg {B2 IV}. Information on the abundances of the
Fe group is important for computing opacities for stellar evolution
calculations and for determining astrophysical f-values. There are no
suitable galactic standards in the HST database to compare with recent
HST/STIS observations of B stars in the Magellanic Clouds and the
likely future observations of similar objects in M31 and other nearby
galaxies. To correct this deficiency, we propose SNAPSHOT observations
with the STIS E140M and E230M gratings of 33 of the best bright
abundance standards in nearby clusters and the galactic field. Using
this data we will determine the abundances of the Fe group and heavy
elements using the technique of spectrum synthesis with LTE and NLTE
treatments. We waive the proprietary period.


The COSMOS 2-Degree ACS Survey

We will undertake a 2 square degree imaging survey {Cosmic Evolution
Survey — COSMOS} with ACS in the I {F814W} band of the VIMOS
equatorial field. This wide field survey is essential to understand
the interplay between Large Scale Structure {LSS} evolution and the
formation of galaxies, dark matter and AGNs and is the one region of
parameter space completely unexplored at present by HST. The
equatorial field was selected for its accessibility to all
ground-based telescopes and low IR background and because it will
eventually contain ~100, 000 galaxy spectra from the VLT-VIMOS
instrument. The imaging will detect over 2 million objects with I> 27
mag {AB, 10 sigma}, over 35, 000 Lyman Break Galaxies {LBGs} and
extremely red galaxies out to z ~ 5. COSMOS is the only HST project
specifically designed to probe the formation and evolution of
structures ranging from galaxies up to Coma-size clusters in the epoch
of peak galaxy, AGN, star and cluster formation {z ~0.5 to 3}. The
size of the largest structures necessitate the 2 degree field. Our
team is committed to the assembly of several public ancillary datasets
including the optical spectra, deep XMM and VLA imaging, ground-based
optical/IR imaging, UV imaging from GALEX and IR data from SIRTF.
Combining the full-spectrum multiwavelength imaging and spectroscopic
coverage with ACS sub-kpc resolution, COSMOS will be Hubble’s ultimate
legacy for understanding the evolution of both the visible and dark


The Physical Character of the Smallest-Scale Interstellar Structures

The origin{s} of interstellar structure recently seen on very small
{tens of AU} scales is a puzzle that has inspired a number of possible
theoretical interpretations. In particular, fluctuations in density
and/or ionization fraction which can arise naturally in a turbulent
medium may give rise to the observed structure. We propose to use STIS
to accurately measure and compare selected interstellar absorption
line profiles toward two binary star systems to test specific
predictions of these models. In addition to NaI line profile
variations between the stars indicative of structure on scales of
~2000 to 5000 AU, one member of each system shows temporal {proper
motion induced} variations in one component indicative of structure on
scales of ~20 AU. Such temporally variable components allow one to
explore the structure of the interstellar medium on the smallest
scales, and a detailed physical understanding of these structures
requires the diagnostic power of the many interstellar species
observable in the ultraviolet. By re-observing the HD 32039/40 system
we will be able to confirm or invalidate our {turbulence inspired}
model for the origin of this particular temporal fluctuation. The HD
36408AB system will allow us to study two locations near the edge of
an individual cloud, and provide a new understanding of the surface
layers of interstellar clouds.

NIC2 9798

What’s The Point? Deep NICMOS Imaging of the Central X-ray Point
Source in Cas A

First-light Chandra X-ray Observatory images revealed an enigmatic
central point source in Cas A, the Galaxy’s youngest known supernova
remnant {SN 1680}. The object lies within 7 arcsec of the remnant’s
expansion center and is presumably the remnant’s neutron star with
unusual properties. Deep Cycle 9 STIS observations and Keck’s near-IR
imaging detected only one object within the Chandra positional error
circle, and this appears to be a foreground star. These optical and
NIR upper limits already prove that the X-ray source cannot be a field
star, an AGN, an ordinary pulsar, or an X-ray binary with any known
type of optical companion. A likely possibility is that it is a very
young magnetar that will evolve into an Anomalous X-ray Pulsar or a
Soft Gamma-ray Repeater. Due to the high extinction to Cas A, deep
NICMOS imaging offers the best way to search for a counterpart. Here
we propose obtaining NIC2 H band images which will go to H=25.7 —
almost 6 mags deeper than the previous searches and about 2 mags
deeper than is realistically possible with Keck or Subaru. The
high-resolution capability of NIC2 will also limit potential source
confusion in this galactic plane region. We will obtain matching J
images {to 27.2 mag} to provide color information on the candidate
objects. These ultra-deep NICMOS images will either detect the
counterpart and hence determine its nature, or place severe
constraints on the properties of the point source.

STIS 9786

The Next Generation Spectral Library

We propose to continue the Cycle 10 snapshot program to produce a Next
Generation Spectral Library of 600 stars for use in modeling the
integrated light of galaxies and clusters. This program is using the
low dispersion UV and optical gratings of STIS. The library will be
roughly equally divided among four metallicities, very low {[Fe/H] lt
-1.5}, low {[Fe/H] -1.5 to -0.5}, near-solar {[Fe/H] -0.3 to 0.1}, and
super-solar {[Fe/H] gt 0.2}, well-sampling the entire HR-diagram in
each bin. Such a library will surpass all extant compilations and have
lasting archival value, well into the Next Generation Space Telescope
era. Because of the universal utility and community-broad nature of
this venture, we waive the entire proprietary period.


Galaxy Evolution in Action : The Detailed Morphology of Post-Starburst

If galaxies evolve morphologically, then some should be in transition
between late and early types. One proposed evolutionary mechanism is a
galaxy-galaxy merger, but evolved merger products are difficult to
find. Fortunately, spectroscopic surveys have now uncovered large
numbers of E+A galaxies, a class of objects whose post-starburst
spectra, current lack of HI gas, and pressure-supported kinematics
suggest that they are the missing panel that connects the "Toomre
sequence" of merging spirals with normal ellipticals and S0s. Our
first HST observations of five of these galaxies are intriguing. We
find a considerable range of tidally disturbed morphologies, an "E+A"
fundamental plane, significant differences among the color gradients
within 1 kpc {~0.8”}, and populations of bright, blue globular
clusters. These initial results are difficult to interpret, however,
because they are drawn from a small sample of galaxies whose very blue
overall colors may have selected a particular evolutionary path of
E+As. Here we propose for ACS imaging of the remaining 15 E+As from
the Las Campanas Redshift Survey to probe the full range of E+A
properties. The proposed observations will allow us to 1} determine
what fraction of the interactions that lead to E+As destroy all
disk-like structures {and therefore necessarily lead to elliptical
formation}, 2} measure the inner color gradients and constrain the
spatial distribution of stars produced as gas sinks to the center
during a merger, and 3} determine whether these interactions produce
globular clusters in the required numbers to account for the increased
specific frequency of clusters in early-type galaxies.


Galaxy Evolution During Half the Age of the Universe: ACS imaging of
rich galaxy clusters

Detailed studies of nearby galaxies {z<0.05} have shown that galaxies
have very complex histories of formation and evolution involving
mergers, bursts of star formation, and morphological changes. Even so,
the global properties of the galaxies {radii, luminosities, rotation
velocities, velocity dispersions, and absorption line strengths}
follow a number of very tight {empirical} scaling relations, e.g. the
Tully-Fisher relation and the Fundamental Plane. These relations place
constraints on models for galaxy evolution. The results for nearby
galaxies rely on high signal-to-noise spectroscopy and multi-color
photometry. With the Gemini Telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope
{HST} it is possible to carry out similar detailed studies of galaxies
at much larger redshifts, up to z~1.0, equivalent to half the age of
the Universe. We have started a project using the scaling relations
and aimed at studying the galaxy evolution over the last half of the
age of the Universe. The project is based on a large database of
spectroscopy and photometry of galaxies in 15 X-ray selected clusters
of galaxies with redshifts between 0.15 and 1.0. Spectroscopic
observations are being obtained using both Gemini Telescopes; we have
observed 6 clusters so far, covering from z=0.18 to z=0.83. We propose
to use HST/ACS to image the clusters and determine the morphologies
and measure the sizes of the galaxies. At this time we ask for 26
orbits to image four of the clusters in our sample.

WFPC2 9740

CIII] Imagery of Planetary Nebulae and HII Regions — A Snap Program

We propose to undertake a SNAP program of WFPC2 imagery of several
planetary nebulae and extragalactic HII regions with the F185W filter
to study the spatial variation of the CIII] 1909 Angstrom emission
lines across the nebulae. Much of our current knowledge of carbon
abundances in planetary nebulae and HII regions are based on UV
spectroscopic observations of this line yet there have not been any
studies of its spatial variations in nebulae compared to several of
the prominent optical lines {e.g. [OIII] 5007 Angstroms}. Such
observations, coupled with photoionization modeling of the nebulae,
will enable us to assess the utility of using the CIII] line in
abundance calculations of C/O and C/H in nebulae and possibly permit
improved empirical emission-line diagnostic techniques for ionization
corrections to get the elemental carbon abundances from C++/O++
observations based on CIII]/[OIII] 1909/5007. We also plan to study
the spatial variation of the CIII] 1909 Angstrom collisionally excited
lines against the CII 4267 Angstrom permitted line in many of the
nebulae using previous and planned ground-based longslit echelle
spectroscopy coupled with the HST WFPC2 F185W imagery.


NICMOS Post-SAA calibration – CR Persistence Part 2

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 USEAFTER
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 DARKSs. 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.

S/C 4974


No available description

WFPC2 10090

WFII backup parallel archive proposal

This is a POMS test proposal designed to simulate scientific plans.

STIS/CCD 10085

STIS Pure Parallel Imaging Program: Cycle 12

This is the default archival pure parallel program for STIS during
cycle 12.

WFPC2 10084

WFII parallel archive proposal

This is the generic target version of the WFPC2 Archival Pure Parallel
program. The program will be used to take parallel images of random
areas of the sky, following the recommendations of the 2002 Parallels
Working Group.

WFPC2 10074

WFPC2 Cycle 12 UV Earth Flats

Monitor flat field stability. This proposal obtains sequences of earth
streak flats to improve the quality of pipeline flat fields for the
WFPC2 UV filter set. These Earth flats will complement the UV earth
flat data obtained during cycles 8-11.

WFPC2 10072


This calibration proposal is the Cycle 12 routine internal monitor for
WFPC2, to be run weekly to monitor the health of the cameras. A
variety of internal exposures are obtained in order to provide a
monitor of the integrity of the CCD camera electronics in both bays
{gain 7 and gain 15}, a test for quantum efficiency in the CCDs, and a
monitor for possible buildup of contaminants on the CCD windows.

WFPC2 10070

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Supplemental Darks Part 2/3

This dark calibration program obtains 3 dark frames every day to
provide data for monitoring and characterizing the evolution of hot


CCD Daily Monitor

This program consists of basic tests to monitor, the read noise, the
development of hot pixels and test for any source of noise in ACS CCD
detectors. This programme will be executed once a day for the entire
lifetime of ACS.

STIS/MA1 10034

Cycle 12 MAMA Dark Monitor

This test performs the routine monitoring of the MAMA detector dark
noise. This proposal will provide the primary means of checking on
health of the MAMA detectors systems through frequent monitoring of
the background count rate. The purpose is to look for evidence of
change in dark indicative of detector problem developing.

STIS/CCD 10019

CCD Bias Monitor – Part 1

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 10017

CCD Dark Monitor-Part 1

Monitor the darks for the STIS CCD.

FGS 10011

Monitoring FGS1r’s Interferometric Response as a Function of Spectral

This proposal obtains reference point source Transfer Functions
{S-Curves} for FGS1r through the F583W filter and the F5ND attenuator
at the center position of the FGS1r FOV for a variety of stars of
different spectral types. These Transfer Functions are needed to
support the analysis of GO science data for the study of close and
wide binary star systems and for determining the angular size and
shape of extended sources. This proposal observes stars that have been
observed in previous cycles to monitor the long term evolution of the
FGS1r S-curves. This proposal also {1} monitors the FGS1r Lateral
Color response {using stars Latcol-A and Latcol-B}, {2} calibrates the
"Pos/Trans" bias of a star’s position as determined from Transfer mode
and Position mode observations, and {3} calibrates the shift of a
star’s centroid when observed with F5ND relative to that when observed
with F583W.

FGS 10010

Long Term Monitoring of FGS1r in Position Mode

It is known from our experience with FGS3, and later with FGS1r, that
an FGS on orbit experiences long term evolution, presumably due to
disorption of water from the instrument’s graphite epoxy composites.
This manifests principally as a change in the plate scale and
secondarily as a change in the geometric distortions. These effects
are well modeled by adjustments to the rhoA and kA parameters which
are used to transform the star selector servo angles into FGS {x, y}
detector space coordinates. By observing the relative positions of
selected stars in a standard cluster at a fixed telescope pointing and
orientation, the evolution of rhoA and kA can be monitored and
calibrated to preserve the astrometric performance of FGS1r.


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

HSTAR 9342: Both of a pair of FHST U1,3FM Updates @ 062/12:54:28Z and
12:57:13Z failed with Error Box results indicating "3 FAILED". Two
486 Status Buffer 901 messages were received, first one @
062/12:55:25Z. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9343: FHST U1,2RD Update @ 063/06:52:12Z failed. ESB message
903 "FHST Onboard Veto" was received. FHST vehicle errors were
QDVERRV0 = 7089.987, QDVERRV1 = 5566.755, and QDVERRV2 = 7748.484.
GS Acquisition @ 063/07:09Z was successful. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9344: OTA SE processing of PTAS log for M_SA053O SMS reveals GS
Reacquisition (3,2,3) @ 054/20:57Z requires two attempts before FGS-2R
was able to achieve FL-DV on its GS. As it was a GS Reacquisition, it
was ultimately left in dual star guiding. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9345: OTA SE processing of PTAS log for M_SA053O SMS reveals GS
Reacquisition (3,2,3) @ 055/19:21Z requires two attempts before FGS-2R
was able to achieve FL-DV on its GS. As it was a GS Reacquisition, it
was ultimately left in dual star guiding. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9346: OTA SE processing of PTAS log for M_SA053O SMS reveals GS
Reacquisition (3,2,3) @ 058/09:46Z requires two attempts before FGS-2R
was able to achieve FL-DV on its GS. As it was a GS Reacquisition, it
was ultimately left in dual star guiding. Under investigation.

HSTAR 9347: NICMOS suspended @ 063/19:33:50Z because of an Intel
Debug Exception, with Status Buffer message 104, Parameter 2, Time =
41922. At the time NICMOS was executing Proposal 09798 and all after.
OR 17094 was completed per SI SE direction @ 064/05:00:38Z,
successfully recovering NICMOS to Operate. Under investigation.


NICMOS Recovery Flash Report:

  • 17090-0 TRT Trending Test 2004-062 @062/1451z
  • 17092-1 Real Time Map @062/1312z
  • 17093-1 Dump NICMOS Memory After Suspend @ 063/22:05z
  • 17094-0 NICMOS Suspend Recovery @ 064/05:00z


  • 1160-2 Default Configuration for TLMDIAG @062/1504z
  • 1115-0 CCC IPCONFIG Connections @ 063/11:59z
  • 1199-2 Adjust ACS Error Count Limit @ 063/14:18z

                          SCHEDULED     SUCCESSFUL    FAILURE TIMES
FGS GSacq              16                        16
FGS REacq              09                         09
FHST Update            37                         34             061/1255z 
(HSTAR#9342) 062/0653z (HSTAR#9343)


NICMOS suspended @ 063/19:33:50Z due to an Intel Debug exception (see
HSTAR 9347 and KDDL 65). At the time, NICMOS was executing Proposal

Successfully recovered NICMOS to Operate mode @ 064/05:00:38Z (OR
17094). No PAM or FOM moves were required for SMS intercept, science
observations (parallels) are scheduled to resume at ~ 064/09:16:48Z.

Successfully completed third iteration of the FGS Transient Rate Test
Trending Test (TRTTT) 062/12:59:57Z – 13:30:00Z and 062/14:26:33Z –
14:56:36Z (OR 17090 with attached TRTTT script). The TRT Trending
Test macro was executed twice. Real-time monitoring of the FGS-2R
A-servo position and Compensated Error showed the expected results
during the test execution. The following GS acquisition succeeded
without any problems. The data collected will be combined with the
first two iterations to determine the trend in the degradation seen in
that servo. These results will be tracked in the GSAWG.

NSSC-1 and SI Operations Regression PACOR A testing scheduled
063/11:00Z – 20:00Z with GDOC, HITT, SE, PACOR A, and VEST using CCS
"F","H", and "D" String with CCS Release and PRD O06300ST.
The purpose of this testing is to verify CCS Release supports
normal NSSC-1 and SI commanding in an operational scenario and PACOR A
can ingest various science data products.

SpaceRef staff editor.