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Daily #4040



 
 
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Old February 1st 06, 02:55 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
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Default Daily #4040

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT #4040

PERIOD COVERED: UT January 31, 2006 (DOY 031)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/HRC 10609

Sizes, Shapes, and SEDs: Searching for Mass Segregation in the Super
Star Clusters of Nearby Starburst

We propose to investigate mass segregation and star cluster evolution
and dissolution processes in Super Star Cluster {SSC} populations in a
small sample of nearby starburst galaxies. ACS/HRC and NICMOS images
of these nearby {d 10 Mpc} starbursts can reveal evidence for mass
segregation in the form of variations in size, shape, and color of the
SSCs as a function of wavelength. The compactness of the cluster light
profiles, and hence the stellar mass distributions, is a critical
indicator of the likely fate of an SSC: long life and eventual
evolution into a globular-like cluster, or dissolution. These
observations will allow us to generate spectral energy distributions
{SEDs} for a large sample of the SSCs at all ages and extinctions in
each system. We will combine the SEDs with population synthesis models
and existing ground- based spectra and Spitzer images to estimate
ages, reddenings, and masses thus derive a more complete picture of
the star-formation histories of the galaxies. For the brightest and
most likely virialized among the SSCs we will also constrain their
initial mass functions {IMFs} using high- resolution spectroscopy.
Conclusions about IMFs from this technique require detailed
information about the SSC concentration, light profiles, and virial
status, which are only possible via ACS data. The proposed
observations will provide an extensive and comprehensive data set for
a large number of SSCs. By addressing the issues of mass segregation,
evaporation, and destruction of SSC populations, the proposed
observations will provide strong constraints on theories regarding the
processes involved in the formation and evolution of SSCs and globular
clusters. Given the dire predictions for the lifetime of HST, and its
tremendous impact on the study of SSCs, we feel that the proposed
observations not only are necessary and timely {even urgent} but will
also be a fitting { and possibly final} addition to HST's legacy in
the study of starburst SSCs.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10575

Lyman alpha morphology of local starburst galaxies

Our pilot imaging study of 6 local galaxies using ACS/SBC in the
cosmologically important Lyman- alpha line has begun to reveal
intriguing results. Here we propse ACS/HRC imaging of this sample, the
approval of the which will allow for a significant increase in the
impact of the original study and extend the limits of current
understanding of Lyman-alpha escape. With this data we can accurately
calibrate our Lyman-alpha line-only images and explore for the first
time Lyman- alpha fluxes and equivalent widths in spatially resolved
systems. These data would also allow us to test the current models of
Lyman-alpha escape mechanisms and investigate possible correlations
between Lyman-alpha emission and other local parameters such as age
and internal reddening. The addition of high-resolution H-alpha data
allows us to quantitatively study the decoupling of Lyman-alpha from
non-resonant radiation and spatially explore the destruction and
attenuation of Lyman-alpha. The study will go a long way towards
resolving the outstanding issues complicating the interpretation of
high redshift studies and the use of Lyman-alpha to quantitatively
study the distant universe.

ACS/WFC 10543

Microlensing in M87 and the Virgo Cluster

Resolving the nature of dark matter is an urgent problem. The results
of the MACHO survey of the Milky Way dark halo toward the LMC indicate
that a significant fraction of the halo consists of stellar mass
objects. The VATT/Columbia survey of M31 finds a similar lens fraction
in the M31 dark halo. We propose a series of observations with ACS
that will provide the most thorough search for microlensing toward
M87, the central elliptical galaxy of the Virgo cluster. This program
is optimized for lenses in the mass range from 0.01 to 1.0 solar
masses. By comparing with archival data, we can detect lenses as
massive as 100 solar masses, such as the remnants of the first stars.
These observations will have at least 15 times more sensitivity to
microlensing than any previous survey, e.g. using WFPC2. This is due
to the factor of 2 larger area, factor of more than 4 more sensitivity
in the I-band, superior pixel scale and longer baseline of
observations. Based on the halo microlensing results in the Milky Way
and M31, we might expect that galaxy collisions and stripping would
populate the overall cluster halo with a large number of stellar mass
objects. This program would determine definitively if such objects
compose the cluster dark matter at the level seen in the Milky Way. A
negative result would indicate that such objects do not populate the
intracluster medium, and may indicate that galaxy harassment is not as
vigorous as expected. We can measure the level of events due to the
M87 halo: this would be the best exploration to date of such a lens
population in an elliptical galaxy. Star-star lensing should also be
detectable. About 20 erupting classical novae will be seen, allowing
to determine the definitive nova rate for this giant elliptical
galaxy. We will determine if our recent HST detection of an M87
globular cluster nova was a fluke, or indicative of a 100x higher rate
of incidence of cataclysmic variables and nova eruptions in globulars
than previously believed. We will examine the populations of variable
stars, and will be able to cleanly separate them from microlensing.

ACS/WFC 10587

Measuring the Mass Dependence of Early-Type Galaxy Structure

We propose two-color ACS-WFC Snapshot observations of a sample of 118
candidate early- type gravitational lens galaxies. Our lens-candidate
sample is selected to yield {in combination with earlier results} an
approximately uniform final distribution of 40 early-type strong
lenses across a wide range of masses, with velocity dispersions {a
dynamical proxy for mass} ranging from 125 to 300 km/s. The proposed
program will deliver the first significant sample of low-mass
gravitational lenses. All of our candidates have known lens and source
redshifts from Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, and all are bright
enough to permit detailed photometric and stellar- dynamical
observation. We will constrain the luminous and dark-matter mass
profiles of confirmed lenses using lensed-image geometry and
lens-galaxy structural/photometric measurements from HST imaging in
combination with dynamical measurements from spatially resolved
ground-based follow-up spectroscopy. Hence we will determine, in
unprecedented detail, the dependence of early-type galaxy mass
structure and mass-to-light ratio upon galaxy mass. These results will
allow us to directly test theoretical predictions for halo
concentration and star-formation efficiency as a function of mass and
for the existence of a cuspy inner dark- matter component, and will
illuminate the structural explanation behind the fundamental plane of
early-type galaxies. The lens-candidate selection and confirmation
strategy that we propose has been proven successful for high-mass
galaxies by our Cycle 13 Snapshot program {10174}. The program that we
propose here will produce a complementary and unprecedented lens
sample spanning a wide range of lens-galaxy masses.

ACS/WFC 10696

Galaxy Populations at Very Large Cluster Radii III: The Outskirts of
CL J1226.9+3332 at z=0.89

We propose to use the Advanced Camera for Surveys to image 10 selected
fields in the outskirts of X-ray luminous cluster Cl J1226.9+3332 at
z=0.89, for a detailed study of those galaxies entering the cluster
for the first time. These data will be combined with the existing ACS
imaging of the inner portions of the cluster, and be analyzed in
parallel with our wide-field two- color ACS mosaics of MS 1054--03
{z=0.83} and RX J0152--13 {z=0.83}. Together, these studies of the
galaxy populations well beyond the virial radii of the clusters will
allow us to directly {1} study the transformation of infalling field
spirals into cluster early-types using the morphology-density relation
to large radii and very low local densities; {2} measure the frequency
of galaxy-galaxy mergers and interactions in the infall region; and
{3} determine the star-formation histories of those field galaxies
most recently accreted by the cluster, using accurate colors,
morphologies, and M/L ratios. The wide-field HST/ACS data will be
supplemented with both wide-field multi-object spectroscopy and
photometric redshifts from ground-based broadband optical and near-IR
imaging. By studying the clusters out to twice their virial radii, the
three clusters in our sample will directly test predictions for the
formation of early- type galaxies and for the transformation of field
galaxies into present-day cluster galaxies.

ACS/WFC/NIC3/WFPC2 10530

Probing Evolution And Reionization Spectroscopically {PEARS}

While imaging with HST has gone deep enough to probe the highest
redshifts, e.g. the GOODS survey and the Ultra Deep Field,
spectroscopic identifications have not kept up. We propose an ACS
grism survey to get slitless spectra of all sources in a wide survey
region {8 ACS fields} up to z =27.0 magnitude, and an ultradeep field
in the HUDF reaching sources up to z =28 magnitude. The PEARS survey
will: {1} Find and spectrocopically confirm all galaxies between
z=4-7. {2} Probe the reionization epoch by robustly determining the
luminosity function of galaxies and low luminosity AGNs at z = 4 - 6.
With known redshifts, we can get a local measure of star formation and
ionization rate in case reionization is inhomogeneous. {3} Study
galaxy formation and evolution by finding galaxies in a contiguous
redshift range between 4 z 7, and black hole evolution through a
census of low-luminosity AGNs. {4} Get a robust census of galaxies
with old stellar populations at 1 z 2.5, invaluable for checking
consistency with heirarchical models of galaxy formation. Fitting
these galaxies' spectra will yield age and metallicity estimates. {5}
Study star-formation and galaxy assembly at its peak at 1 z 2 by
identifying emission lines in star-forming galaxies, old populations
showing the 4000A break, and any combination of the two. {6} Constrain
faint white dwarfs in the Galactic halo and thus measure their
contribution to the dark matter halo. {7} Derive spectro-photometric
redshifts by using the grism spectra along with broadband data. This
will be the deepest unbiased spectroscopy yet, and will enhance the
value of the multiwavelength data in UDF and the GOODS fields to the
astronomical community. To this end we will deliver reduced spectra to
the HST archives.

FGS 10610

Astrometric Masses of Extrasolar Planets and Brown Dwarfs

We propose observations with HST/FGS to estimate the astrometric
elements {perturbation orbit semi-major axis and inclination} of
extra-solar planets orbiting six stars. These companions were
originally detected by radial velocity techniques. We have
demonstrated that FGS astrometry of even a short segment of reflex
motion, when combined with extensive radial velocity information, can
yield useful inclination information {McArthur et al. 2004}, allowing
us to determine companion masses. Extrasolar planet masses assist in
two ongoing research frontiers. First, they provide useful boundary
conditions for models of planetary formation and evolution of
planetary systems. Second, knowing that a star in fact has a plantary
mass companion, increases the value of that system to future
extrasolar planet observation missions such as SIM PlanetQuest, TPF,
and GAIA.

NICMOS 8791

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.

WFPC2 10745

WFPC2 CYCLE 14 INTERNAL MONITOR

This calibration proposal is the Cycle 14 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
{both gain 7 and gain 15 -- to test stability of gains and bias
levels}, a test for quantum efficiency in the CCDs, and a monitor for
possible buildup of contaminants on the CCD windows. These also
provide raw data for generating annual super-bias reference files for
the calibration pipeline.

WFPC2 10751

WFPC2 CYCLE 14 Intflat Linearity Check and Filter Rotation Anomaly
Monitor

Intflat observations will be taken to provide a linearity check: the
linearity test consists of a series of intflats in F555W, in each gain
and each shutter. A combination of intflats, visflats, and earthflats
will be used to check the repeatability of filter wheel motions.
{Intflat sequences tied to decons, visits 1-18 in prop 10363, have
been moved to the cycle 14 decon proposal 10744 for easier
scheduling.} Note: long-exposure WFPC2 intflats must be scheduled
during ACS anneals to prevent stray light from the WFPC2 lamps from
contaminating long ACS external exposures.

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 10 10
FGS REacq 15 15
OBAD with Maneuver 28 28

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)

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