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Daily Rpt #4557



 
 
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Old February 29th 08, 04:19 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Bassford, Lynn
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Default Daily Rpt #4557

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT*** # 4557

PERIOD COVERED: UT February 28, 2008 (DOY 059)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

FGS 11212

Filling the Period Gap for Massive Binaries

The current census of binaries among the massive O-type stars is
seriously incomplete for systems in the period range from years to
millennia because the radial velocity variations are too small and the
angular separations too close for easy detection. Here we propose to
discover binaries in this observational gap through a Faint Guidance
Sensor SNAP survey of relatively bright targets listed in the Galactic
O Star Catalog. Our primary goal is to determine the binary frequency
among those in the cluster/association, field, and runaway groups. The
results will help us assess the role of binaries in massive star
formation and in the processes that lead to the ejection of massive
stars from their natal clusters. The program will also lead to the
identification of new, close binaries that will be targets of long
term spectroscopic and high angular resolution observations to
determine their masses and distances. The results will also be
important for the interpretation of the spectra of suspected and newly
identified binary and multiple systems.

FGS 11301

Dynamical Masses and Radii of Four White Dwarf Stars

This proposal uses the FGS1r in TRANS mode to resolve a pair of double
degenerate binary systems {WD1639+153 and WD 1818+26} in order to
determine their orbital elements. In addition, the binaries and
several nearby field stars are observed by FGS1r in POS mode to
establish the local inertial reference frame of each binary, as well
as its parallax and proper motion. This will allow for a direct
measurement of the distance and radius of each of the four WD stars.
When combined with the orbital elements, this leads to a dynamical
mass measurement for each WD, and a four calibration points of the WD
mass-radius relation.

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.

NIC2 11135

Extreme makeovers: Tracing the transformation of massive galaxies at
z~2.5

To obtain a full spectroscopic census of the universe at z~2.5 we have
conducted a near-infrared spectroscopic survey for K-selected
galaxies. We found that, in contrast to the local universe, massive
high-redshift galaxies span a wide range of properties, varying from
(dusty) star burst to "red and dead" galaxies. This may imply that
massive galaxies transform from star-forming to quiescent galaxies in
the targeted redshift range. To understand whether the 9 quiescent
galaxies in our sample are the progenitors of local elliptical, we are
observing them in the current cycle with NIC2. For cycle 16 we propose
to complete our sample of massive z~2.5 galaxies and image the
remaining 10 galaxies, which all have emission lines. Based on
emission-line diagnostics, 6 of these galaxies are identified as
star-forming objects and 4 harbor an active galactic nucleus. The
goals are to 1) determine whether star formation in massive z~2.5
galaxies takes place in disks or is triggered by merger activity, 2)
derive the contribution of AGNs to the rest-frame optical emission,
and 3) test whether the morphologies are consistent with the idea that
the star-forming galaxies, AGNs, and quiescent galaxies represent
subsequent phases of an evolutionary sequence. The combination of both
programs will provide the first morphological study of a
spectroscopically confirmed massive galaxy sample at z~2.5.

NIC2 11143

NICMOS imaging of submillimeter galaxies with CO and PAH redshifts

We propose to obtain F110W and F160W imaging of 10 z~2.4 submillimeter
galaxies {SMGs} whose optical redshifts have been confirmed by the
detection of millimeter CO and/or mid- infrared PAH emission. With the
4000A break falling within/between the two imaging filters, we will be
able to study these sources' spatially resolved stellar populations
{modulo extinction} in the rest-frame optical. SMGs' large
luminosities appear to be due largely to merger-triggered starbursts;
high-resolution NICMOS imaging will help us understand the stellar
masses, mass ratios, and other properties of the merger progenitors,
valuable information in the effort to model the mass assembly history
of the universe.

NIC2 11155

Dust Grain Evolution in Herbig Ae Stars: NICMOS Coronagraphic Imaging
and Polarimetry

We propose to take advantage of the sensitive coronagraphic
capabilities of NICMOS to obtain multiwavelength coronagraphic imaging
and polarimetry of primordial dust disks around young
intermediate-mass stars {Herbig Ae stars}, in order to advance our
understanding of how dust grains are assembled into larger bodies.
Because the polarization of scattered light is strongly dependent on
scattering particle size and composition, coronagraphic imaging
polarimetry with NICMOS provides a uniquely powerful tool for
measuring grain properties in spatially resolved circumstellar disks.
It is widely believed that planets form via the gradual accretion of
planetesimals in gas-rich, dusty circumstellar disks, but the
connection between this suspected process and the circumstellar disks
that we can now observe around other stars remains very uncertain. Our
proposed observations, together with powerful 3-D radiative transfer
codes, will enable us to quantitatively determine dust grain
properties as a function of location within disks, and thus to test
whether dust grains around young stars are in fact growing in size
during the putative planet-formation epoch. HST imaging polarimetry of
Herbig Ae stars will complement and extend existing polarimetric
studies of disks around lower-mass T Tauri stars and debris disks
around older main-sequence stars. When combined with these previous
studies, the proposed research will help us establish the influence of
stellar mass on the growth of dust grains into larger planetesimals,
and ultimately to planets. Our results will also let us calibrate
models of the thermal emission from these disks, a critical need for
validating the properties of more distant disks inferred on the basis
of spectral information alone.

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.

WFPC2 11030

WFPC2 WF4 Temperature Reduction #3

In the fall of 2005, a serious anomaly was found in images from the
WF4 CCD in WFPC2. The WF4 CCD bias level appeared to have become
unstable, resulting in sporadic images with either low or zero bias
level. The severity and frequency of the problem was rapidly
increasing, making it possible that WF4 would soon become unusable if
no work-around were found. Examination of bias levels during periods
with frequent WFPC2 images showed low and zero bias episodes every 4
to 6 hours. This periodicity is driven by cycling of the WFPC2
Replacement Heater, with the bias anomalies occurring at the
temperature peaks. The other three CCDs {PC1, WF2, and WF3} appear to
be unaffected and continue to operate properly. Lowering the
Replacement Heater temperature set points by a few degrees C
effectively eliminates the WF4 anomaly. On 9 January 2006, the upper
set point of the WFPC2 Replacement Heater was reduced from 14.9C to
12.2C. On 20 February 2006, the upper set point was reduced from 12.2C
to 11.3C, and the lower set point was reduced from 10.9C to 10.0C.
These changes restored the WF4 CCD bias level; however, the bias level
has begun to trend downwards again, mimicking its behavior in late
2004 and early 2005. A third temperature reduction is planned for
March 2007. We will reduce the upper set point of the heater from
11.3C to 10.4C and the lower set point from 10.0C to 9.1C. The
observations described in this proposal will test the performance of
WFPC2 before and after this temperature reduction. Additional
temperature reductions may be needed in the future, depending on the
performance of WF4. Orbits: internal 26, external 1.

WFPC2 11103

A Snapshot Survey of The Most Massive Clusters of Galaxies

We propose the continuation of our highly successful SNAPshot survey
of a sample of 125 very X-ray luminous clusters in the redshift range
0.3-0.7. As demonstrated by the 25 snapshots obtained so far in
Cycle14 and Cycle15 these systems frequently exhibit strong
gravitational lensing as well as spectacular examples of violent
galaxy interactions. The proposed observations will provide important
constraints on the cluster mass distributions, the physical nature of
galaxy-galaxy and galaxy-gas interactions in cluster cores, and a set
of optically bright, lensed galaxies for further 8-10m spectroscopy.
All of our primary science goals require only the detection and
characterization of high-surface-brightness features and are thus
achievable even at the reduced sensitivity of WFPC2. Because of their
high redshift and thus compact angular scale our target clusters are
less adversely affected by the smaller field of view of WFPC2 than
more nearby systems. Acknowledging the broad community interest in
this sample we waive our data rights for these observations. Due to a
clerical error at STScI our approved Cycle15 SNAP program was barred
from execution for 3 months and only 6 observations have been
performed to date - reinstating this SNAP at Cycle16 priority is of
paramount importance to reach meaningful statistics.

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.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTARS:

11202 GSAcq(1,2,1) failed to RGA Control while LOS @ 059/21:11:21z

No FGS flags were set or 486 ESB messages received. NICMOS 705 status
buffer message (TDF down when a target acquisition SAM request is
made) with parameter 0 and time 14666 occurred at 21:21:20z.
Post-acquisition OBAD map at 21:19:25z had RSS error of 29.45
arcseconds.

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

************************* SCHEDULED***** SUCCESSFUL
FGS GSacq****************** 9************ 08
FGS REacq***************** 04************ 04
OBAD with Maneuver** 28************ 28

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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