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Daily Report #4615



 
 
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Old May 21st 08, 05:39 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Cooper, Joe
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Posts: 568
Default Daily Report #4615

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT***** # 4615

PERIOD COVERED: 5am May 20 - 5am May 21, 2008 (DOY
141/0900z-142/0900z)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8795

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 6

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.

NIC3 11120

A Paschen-Alpha Study of Massive Stars and the ISM in the Galactic
Center

The Galactic center (GC) is a unique site for a detailed study of a
multitude of complex astrophysical phenomena, which may be common to
nuclear regions of many galaxies. Observable at resolutions
unapproachable in other galaxies, the GC provides an unparalleled
opportunity to improve our understanding of the interrelationships of
massive stars, young stellar clusters, warm and hot ionized gases,
molecular clouds, large scale magnetic fields, and black holes. We
propose the first large-scale hydrogen Paschen alpha line survey of
the GC using NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope. This survey will
lead to a high resolution and high sensitivity map of the Paschen
alpha line emission in addition to a map of foreground extinction,
made by comparing Paschen alpha to radio emission. This survey of the
inner 75 pc of the Galaxy will provide an unprecedented and complete
search for sites of massive star formation. In particular, we will be
able to (1) uncover the distribution of young massive stars in this
region, (2) locate the surfaces of adjacent molecular clouds, (3)
determine important physical parameters of the ionized gas, (4)
identify compact and ultra-compact HII regions throughout the GC. When
combined with existing Chandra and Spitzer surveys as well as a wealth
of other multi-wavelength observations, the results will allow us to
address such questions as where and how massive stars form, how
stellar clusters are disrupted, how massive stars shape and heat the
surrounding medium, and how various phases of this medium are
interspersed.

NIC3 11195

Morphologies of the Most Extreme High-Redshift Mid-IR-luminous
Galaxies II: The `Bump' Sources

The formative phase of some of the most massive galaxies may be
extremely luminous, characterized by intense star- and AGN-formation.
Till now, few such galaxies have been unambiguously identified at high
redshift, and thus far we have been restricted to studying the
low-redshift ultraluminous infrared galaxies as possible analogs. We
have recently discovered a sample of objects which may indeed
represent this early phase in galaxy formation, and are undertaking an
extensive multiwavelength study of this population. These objects are
optically extremely faint {R26} but nevertheless bright at
mid-infrared wavelengths {F[24um] 0.5 mJy}. Mid-infrared
spectroscopy with Spitzer/IRS reveals that they have redshifts z~2,
implying luminosities ~1E13 Lsun. Their mid-IR SEDs fall into two
broad, perhaps overlapping, categories. Sources with brighter F[24um]
exhibit power-law SEDs and SiO absorption features in their mid-IR
spectra characteristic of AGN, whereas those with fainter F[24um] show
a "bump" characteristic of the redshifted 1.6um peak from a stellar
population, and PAH emission characteristic of starformation. We have
begun obtaining HST images of the brighter sources in Cycle 15 to
obtain identifications and determine kpc-scale morphologies for these
galaxies. Here, we aim to target the second class {the "bump" sources}
with the goal of determining if these constitute morphologically
different objects, or simply a "low-AGN" state of the brighter class.
The proposed observations will help us determine whether these objects
are merging systems, massive obscured starbursts {with obscuration on
kpc scales!} or very reddened {locally obscured} AGN hosted by
intrinsically low-luminosity galaxies.

WFPC2 11113

Binaries in the Kuiper Belt: Probes of Solar System Formation and
Evolution

The discovery of binaries in the Kuiper Belt and related small body
populations is powering a revolutionary step forward in the study of
this remote region. Three quarters of the known binaries in the Kuiper
Belt have been discovered with HST, most by our snapshot surveys. The
statistics derived from this work are beginning to yield surprising
and unexpected results. We have found a strong concentration of
binaries among low-inclination Classicals, a possible size cutoff to
binaries among the Centaurs, an apparent preference for nearly equal
mass binaries, and a strong increase in the number of binaries at
small separations. We propose to continue this successful program in
Cycle 16; we expect to discover at least 13 new binary systems,
targeted to subgroups where these discoveries can have the greatest
impact.

WFPC2 11122

Expanding PNe: Distances and Hydro Models

We propose to obtain repeat narrowband images of a sample of eighteen
planetary nebulae {PNe} which have HST/WFPC2 archival data spanning
time baselines of a decade. All of these targets have previous high
signal-to-noise WFPC2/PC observations and are sufficiently nearby to
have readily detectable expansion signatures after a few years. Our
main scientific objectives are {a} to determine precise distances to
these PNe based on their angular expansions, {b} to test detailed and
highly successful hydrodynamic models that predict nebular
morphologies and expansions for subsamples of round/elliptical and
axisymmetric PNe, and {c} to monitor the proper motions of nebular
microstructures in an effort to learn more about their physical nature
and formation mechanisms. The proposed observations will result in
high-precision distances to a healthy subsample of PNe, and from this
their expansion ages, luminosities, CSPN properties, and masses of
their ionized cores. With good distances and our hydro models, we will
be able to determine fundamental parameters {such as nebular and
central star masses, luminosity, age}. The same images allow us to
monitor the changing overall ionization state and to search for the
surprisingly non-homologous growth patterns to bright elliptical PNe
of the same sort seen by Balick & Hajian {2004} in NGC 6543.
Non-uniform growth is a sure sign of active pressure imbalances within
the nebula that require careful hydro models to understand.

WFPC2 11124

The Origin of QSO Absorption Lines from QSOs

We propose using WFPC2 to image the fields of 10 redshift z ~ 0.7
foreground {FG} QSOs which lie within ~29-151 kpc of the sightlines to
high-z background {BG} QSOs. A surprisingly high fraction of the BG
QSO spectra show strong MgII {2796,2803} absorption lines at precisely
the same redshifts as the FG QSOs. The high resolution capabilities of
WFPC2 are needed to understand the origin of these absorption systems,
in two ways. First, we wish to explore the FG QSO environment as close
as possible to the position of the BG QSO, to search for interloping
group or cluster galaxies which might be responsible for the
absorption, or irregularly shaped post-merger debris between the FG
and BG QSO which may indicate the presence of large amount of
disrupted gas along a sightline. Similarly, high resolution images are
needed to search for signs of tidal interactions between any galaxies
which might be found close to the FG QSO. Such features might provide
evidence of young merging events causing the start of QSO duty cycles
and producing outflows from the central AGN. Such winds may be
responsible for the observed absorption lines. Second, we seek to
measure the intrinsic parameters of the FG QSO host galaxy, such as
luminosity and morphology, to correlate with the properties of the
MgII absorption lines. We wish to observe each field through the F814W
filter, close to the rest- frame B-band of the FG QSO. These blue data
can reveal enhanced star formation regions close to the nucleus of the
host galaxy, which may be indicative of galaxy mergers with the FG QSO
host. The FG QSO environment offers quite a different set of phenomena
which might be responsible for MgII absorption, providing an important
comparison to studies of MgII absorption from regular field galaxies.

WFPC2 11202

The Structure of Early-type Galaxies: 0.1-100 Effective Radii

The structure, formation and evolution of early-type galaxies is still
largely an open problem in cosmology: how does the Universe evolve
from large linear scales dominated by dark matter to the highly
non-linear scales of galaxies, where baryons and dark matter both play
important, interacting, roles? To understand the complex physical
processes involved in their formation scenario, and why they have the
tight scaling relations that we observe today {e.g. the Fundamental
Plane}, it is critically important not only to understand their
stellar structure, but also their dark-matter distribution from the
smallest to the largest scales. Over the last three years the SLACS
collaboration has developed a toolbox to tackle these issues in a
unique and encompassing way by combining new non-parametric strong
lensing techniques, stellar dynamics, and most recently weak
gravitational lensing, with high-quality Hubble Space Telescope
imaging and VLT/Keck spectroscopic data of early-type lens systems.
This allows us to break degeneracies that are inherent to each of
these techniques separately and probe the mass structure of early-type
galaxies from 0.1 to 100 effective radii. The large dynamic range to
which lensing is sensitive allows us both to probe the clumpy
substructure of these galaxies, as well as their low-density outer
haloes. These methods have convincingly been demonstrated, by our
team, using smaller pilot-samples of SLACS lens systems with HST data.
In this proposal, we request observing time with WFPC2 and NICMOS to
observe 53 strong lens systems from SLACS, to obtain complete
multi-color imaging for each system. This would bring the total number
of SLACS lens systems to 87 with completed HST imaging and effectively
doubles the known number of galaxy-scale strong lenses. The deep HST
images enable us to fully exploit our new techniques, beat down
low-number statistics, and probe the structure and evolution of
early-type galaxies, not only with a uniform data-set an order of
magnitude larger than what is available now, but also with a fully
coherent and self-consistent methodological approach!

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)

************************ SCHEDULED***** SUCCESSFUL

FGS GSacq*************** 06***************** 06
FGS REacq*************** 07***************** 07
OBAD with Maneuver ***** 26***************** 26

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS:

The motor current powering Gyro 6 increased from ~123 milli-ampere to
~185 milli-ampere around 141/20:46z.* There was no impact to science
operations.


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  #2  
Old June 29th 08, 04:43 PM
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