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Daily 3706



 
 
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Old October 1st 04, 04:59 PM
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Default Daily 3706

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT # 3706

PERIOD COVERED: DOY 273

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/HRC 10182

Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Type Ia Supernovae: The
Necessity of UV Observations

Type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} are very important to many diverse areas
of astrophysics, from the chemical evolution of galaxies to
observational cosmology which led to the discovery of dark energy and
the accelerating Universe. However, the utility of SNe Ia as
cosmological probes depends on the degree of our understanding of SN
Ia physics, and various systematic effects such as cosmic chemical
evolution. At present, the progenitors of SNe Ia and the exact
explosion mechanisms are still poorly understood, as are evolutionary
effects on SN Ia peak luminosities. Since early-time UV spectra and
light curves of nearby SNe Ia can directly address these questions, we
propose an approach consisting of two observational components: {1}
Detailed studies of two very bright, young, nearby SNe Ia with HST UV
spectroscopy at 13 epochs within the first 1.5 months after discovery;
and {2} studies of correlations with luminosity for five somewhat more
distant Hubble-flow SNe Ia, for which relative luminosities can be
determined with precision, using 8 epochs of HST UV spectroscopy
and/or broad-band imaging. The HST data, along with extensive
ground-based optical to near-IR observations, will be analyzed with
state-of-the-art models to probe SN Ia explosion physics and constrain
the nature of the progenitors. The results will form the basis for the
next phase of precision cosmology measurements using SNe Ia, allowing
us to more fully capitalize on the substantial past {and future}
investments of time made with HST in observations of high-redshift SNe
Ia.

ACS/HRC 10185

When does Bipolarity Impose itself on the Extreme Mass Outflows from
AGB Stars? An ACS SNAPshot Survey

Essentially all well-characterized preplanetary nebulae {PPNe} --
objects in transition between the AGB and planetary nebula
evolutionary phases - are bipolar, whereas the mass-loss envelopes of
AGB stars are strikingly spherical. In order to understand the
processes leading to bipolar mass-ejection, we need to know at what
stage of stellar evolution does bipolarity in the mass-loss first
manifest itself? Our previous SNAPshot surveys of a PPNe sample {with
ACS & NICMOS} show that roughly half our targets observed are
resolved, with well-defined bipolar or multipolar morphologies.
Spectroscopic surveys of our sample confirm that these objects have
not yet evolved into planetary nebulae. Thus, the transformation from
spherical to aspherical geometries has already fully developed by the
time these dying stars have become preplanetary nebulae. From this
new and surprising result, we hypothesize that the transformation to
bipolarity begins during the very late AGB phase, and happens very
quickly, just before, or as the stars are evolving off the AGB. We
propose to test this hypothesis quantitatively, through a SNAPshot
imaging survey of very evolved AGB stars which we believe are nascent
preplanetary nebulae; with our target list being drawn from published
lists of AGB stars with detected heavy mass-loss {from millimeter-wave
observations}. This survey is crucial for determining how and when the
bipolar geometry asserts itself. Supporting kinematic observations
using long-slit optical spectroscopy {with the Keck}, millimeter and
radio interferometric observations {with OVRO, VLA & VLBA} are being
undertaken. The results from this survey {together with our previous
work} will allow us to draw general conclusions about the onset of
bipolar mass-ejection during late stellar evolution, and will provide
crucial input for theories of post-AGB stellar evolution. Our survey
will produce an archival legacy of long-standing value for future
studies of dying stars.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10061

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.

ACS/HRC/WFC 9728

Tracing the History of Cosmic Expansion to z~2 with Type Ia Supernovae

Type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} provide the only direct evidence for an
accelerating universe, an extraordinary result that needs the most
rigorous test. The case for cosmic acceleration rests on the
observation that SNe Ia at z = 0.5 are about 0.25 mag fainter than
they would be in a universe without acceleration. A powerful and
straightforward way to assess the reliability of the SN Ia measurement
and the conceptual framework of its interpretation is to look for
cosmic deceleration at z 1. This would be a clear signature of a
mixed dark-matter and dark-energy universe. Systematic errors in the
SNe Ia result attributed to grey dust or cosmic evolution of the SN Ia
peak luminosity would not show this change of sign. We have obtained a
toehold on this putative ``epoch of deceleration'' with SN 1997ff at z
= 1.7, and 3 more at z 1 from our Cycle 11 program, all found and
followed by HST. However, this is too important a test to rest on just
a few objects, anyone of which could be subject to a lensed
line-of-sight or misidentification. Here we propose to extend our
measurement with observations of twelve SNe Ia in the range 1.0 z
1.5 or 6 such SNe Ia and 1 ultradistant SN Ia at z = 2, that will be
discovered as a byproduct from proposed Treasury and DD programs.
These objects will provide a much firmer foundation for a conclusion
that touches on important questions of fundamental physics.

ACS/WFC 10260

The Most Massive Star Clusters: Supermassive Globular Clusters or
Dwarf Galaxy Nuclei?

Evidence is mounting that the most massive globular clusters, such as
Omega Centauri and M31-G1, may be related to the recently discovered
"Ultra-Compact Dwarfs" and the dense nuclei of dE, N galaxies.
However, no systematic imaging investigation of these supermassive
globular clusters -- at the level of Omega Cen and beyond -- has been
done, and we do not know what fraction of them might bear the
signatures {such as large effective radii or tidal tails} of having
originated as dE nuclei. We propose to use the ACS/WFC to obtain deep
images of 18 such clusters in NGC 5128 and M31, the two nearest rich
globular cluster systems. These globulars are the richest star
clusters that can be found in nature, the biggest of them reaching
10^7 Solar masses, and they are likely to represent the results of
star formation under the densest and most extreme conditions known.
Using the profiles of the clusters including their faint outer
envelopes, we will carry out state-of-the-art dynamical modelling of
their structures, and look for any clear evidence which would indicate
that they are associated with stripped satellites. This study will
build on our previous work with STIS and WFPC2 imaging designed to
study the 'Fundamental Plane' of globular clusters. When our new work
is combined with Archival WFPC2, STIS, and ACS material, we will also
be able to construct the definitive mapping of the Fundamental Plane
of globular clusters at its uppermost mass range, and confirm whether
or not the UCD and dE, N objects occupy a different structural
parameter space.

ACS/WFC 10325

Low Redshift Cluster Gravitational Lensing Survey

This proposal has two main scientific goals: to determine the dark
matter distribution of massive galaxy clusters, and to observe the
high redshift universe using these clusters as powerful cosmic
telescopes. Deep, g, r, i, z imaging of a sample of low-z {0.2-0.4}
clusters will yield a large sample of lensed background galaxies with
reliable photometric redshifts. By combining strong and weak lensing
constraints with the photometric redshift information it will be
possible to precisely measure the cluster dark matter distribution
with an unprecedented combination of high spatial resolution and area
coverage, avoiding many of the uncertainties which plague ground-based
studies and yielding definitive answers about the structure of massive
dark matter haloes. In addition, the cosmological parameters can be
constrained in a largely model independent way using the multiply
lensed objects due to the dependence of the Einsteining radius on the
distance to the source. We can also expect to detect several highly
magnified dropout galaxies behind the clusters in the redshift ranges
4-5 5-6 and 7-8, corresponding to a drop in the flux in the g, r, and
i bands relative to longer wavelength. We will obtain the best
information to date on the giant arcs already known in these clusters,
making possible detailed, pixel-by-pixel studies of their star
formation rate, dust distribution and structural components, including
spiral arms, out to a redshift of around z~2.5 in several passbands.

ACS/WFC/WFPC2 10265

The Formation History of Andromeda

We propose deep observations of Andromeda's outer disk and giant tidal
stream, to reconstruct their star formation histories. As the nearest
giant galaxy, Andromeda offers the best testing ground for
understanding galaxy formation and evolution. Given the dramatic
increase in sensitivity offered by the ACS, we can now resolve stars
on the old main sequence in the other giant spiral of the Local Group,
and employ the same direct age diagnostics that have been used for
decades in the study of Galactic globular clusters. In Cycle 11, we
successfully observed a field in the Andromeda halo and constructed a
deep color-magnitude diagram reaching well below the oldest main
sequence turnoff. In Cycle 13, we propose to extend these observations
to the outer disk and tidal stream of Andromeda, to constrain their
star formation histories and compare them to that of the halo. The
combined observations from these two programs will offer a dramatic
advance in our understanding of the overall evolution of spiral
galaxies.

WFPC2 10071

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Supplemental Darks Part 3/3

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

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTAR 9548: OTA SE review of PTAS processing revealed GS Acquisition
(1,2,2) @ 270/06:46:26Z required two attempts to successfully acquire.
It reached FL on both FGSs @ 270/06:50:39Z and returned to SSM Control
@ 270/06:52:09Z. It finally successfully achieved FL @ 270/06:53:07Z.

HSTAR 9549: FHST Map @ 269/10:48Z, attitude RA = 340.615, DEC =
19.869, ROLL = 50.881, received no stars in FHST 1. Due to ZOE, the
Map was processed at three different time segments. The Maps were
computed at 269/11:00Z, 11:10Z, and 11:25Z. Also, during the
processing of the FINATT Map, the error message - ERROR FORMING
SEGMENTS # 3595 was received. Under investigation.

COMPLETED OPS REQs: None

OPS NOTES EXECUTED: None

SCHEDULED SUCCESSFUL FAILURE TIMES
FGS Gsacq 9 9
FGS Reacq 6 6
FHST Update 15 15
LOSS of LOCK

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS:

Successfully supported three HGA Offset Test periods, in order to
assess communication link margins applicable to Two-Gyro Science mode
operations.


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