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Daily Rpt #4466



 
 
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Old October 12th 07, 02:17 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Bassford, Lynn
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Posts: 44
Default Daily Rpt #4466

Notice: Due to the conversion of some ACS WFC or HRC observations into
WFPC2, or NICMOS observations after the loss of ACS CCD science
capability in January, there may be an occasional discrepancy between
a proposal's listed (and correct) instrument usage and the abstract
that follows it.

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT***** # 4466

PERIOD COVERED: UT October 11, 2007 (DOY 284)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

FGS 11211

An Astrometric Calibration of Population II Distance Indicators

In 2002 HST produced a highly precise parallax for RR Lyrae. That
measurement resulted in an absolute magnitude, M{V}= 0.61+/-0.11, a
useful result, judged by the over ten refereed citations each year
since. It is, however, unsatisfactory to have the direct,
parallax-based, distance scale of Population II variables based on a
single star. We propose, therefore, to obtain the parallaxes of four
additional RR Lyrae stars and two Population II Cepheids, or W Vir
stars. The Population II Cepheids lie with the RR Lyrae stars on a
common K-band Period-Luminosity relation. Using these parallaxes to
inform that relationship, we anticipate a zero-point error of 0.04
magnitude. This result should greatly strengthen confidence in the
Population II distance scale and increase our understanding of RR
Lyrae star and Pop II Cepheid astrophysics.

FGS 11295

Trigonometric Calibration of the Distance Scale for Classical Novae

The distance scale for classical novae is important for understanding
the stellar physics of their thermonuclear runaways, their
contribution to Galactic nucleosynthesis, and their use as
extragalactic standard candles. Although it is known that there is a
relationship between their absolute magnitudes at maximum light and
their subsequent rates of decline--the well-known maximum-magnitude
rate-of-decline {MMRD} relation--it is difficult to set the zero-point
for the MMRD because of the very uncertain distances of Galactic
novae. We propose to measure precise trigonometric parallaxes for the
quiescent remnants of the four nearest classical novae. We will use
the Fine Guidance Sensors, which are proven to be capable of measuring
parallaxes with errors of ~0.2 mas, well below what is possible from
the ground.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8793

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 4

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 11219

Active Galactic Nuclei in nearby galaxies: a new view of the origin of
the radio-loud radio- quiet dichotomy?

Using archival HST and Chandra observations of 34 nearby early-type
galaxies {drawn from a complete radio selected sample} we have found
evidence that the radio-loud/radio-quiet dichotomy is directly
connected to the structure of the inner regions of their host galaxies
in the following sense: [1] Radio-loud AGN are associated with
galaxies with shallow cores in their light profiles [2] Radio-quiet
AGN are only hosted by galaxies with steep cusps. Since the brightness
profile is determined by the galaxy's evolution, through its merger
history, our results suggest that the same process sets the AGN
flavour. This provides us with a novel tool to explore the
co-evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes, and it opens a
new path to understand the origin of the radio-loud/radio-quiet AGN
dichotomy. Currently our analysis is statistically incomplete as the
brightness profile is not available for 82 of the 116 targets. Most
galaxies were not observed with HST, while in some cases the study is
obstructed by the presence of dust features. We here propose to
perform an infrared NICMOS snapshot survey of these 82 galaxies. This
will enable us to i} test the reality of the dichotomic behaviour in a
substantially larger sample; ii} extend the comparison between
radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN to a larger range of luminosities.

WFPC2 11039

Polarizers Closeout

Observations of standard stars and a highly polarized reflection
nebula are made as a final calibration for the WFPC2 polarizers.
VISFLATS are also obtained.

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 11126

Resolving the Smallest Galaxies

An order of magnitude more dwarf galaxies are expected to inhabit the
Local Group, based on currently accepted galaxy formation models, than
have been observed. This discrepancy has been noted in environments
ranging from the field to rich clusters, with evidence emerging that
lower density regions contain fewer dwarfs per giant than higher
density regions, in further contrast to model predictions. One
possible explanation for this involves the effects of reionization on
the forming galaxies and naturally explains both the dearth of dwarf
galaxies and the apparent environmental dependence. However, before
such theories can be fully tested, we require a better understanding
of the distribution of dwarf galaxies. Currently, there is no complete
census of the faintest dwarf galaxies in any environment. The
discovery of the smallest and faintest dwarfs is hampered by the
limitations in detecting such faint and low surface brightness
galaxies, and this is compounded by the great difficulty in
determining accurate distances to, or ascertaining group membership
for, such faint objects. The M81 group provides a unique means for
establishing membership for galaxies in a low density region complete
to magnitudes as faint as M_R ~ -7. With a distance modulus of 27.8,
the tip of the red giant branch {TRGB} appears at I ~ 24, just within
the reach of ground based surveys. We currently have surveyed a 30
square degree region around M81 with the CFHT/Megacam. From these
images we have detected 15 new candidate dwarf galaxies. We propose to
use the HST with WFPC2 to image these 15 galaxies in F606W and F814W
bands in order to construct a color-magnitude diagram down to I = 25.5
from which to measure accurate TRGB distances to these candidate
galaxies and determine star formation and metallicity histories. The
overall project will provide a survey of the dwarf galaxies in the M81
group environment with unprecedented completeness to a limit of M_R
-7.

WFPC2 11178

Probing Solar System History with Orbits, Masses, and Colors of
Transneptunian Binaries

The recent discovery of numerous transneptunian binaries {TNBs} opens
a window into dynamical conditions in the protoplanetary disk where
they formed as well as the history of subsequent events which sculpted
the outer Solar System and emplaced them onto their present day
heliocentric orbits. To date, at least 47 TNBs have been discovered,
but only about a dozen have had their mutual orbits and separate
colors determined, frustrating their use to investigate numerous
important scientific questions. The current shortage of data
especially cripples scientific investigations requiring statistical
comparisons among the ensemble characteristics. We propose to obtain
sufficient astrometry and photometry of 23 TNBs to compute their
mutual orbits and system masses and to determine separate primary and
secondary colors, roughly tripling the sample for which this
information is known, as well as extending it to include systems of
two near-equal size bodies. To make the most efficient possible use of
HST, we will use a Monte Carlo technique to optimally schedule our
observations.

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!

WFPC2 11312

The Local Cluster Substructure Survey {LoCuSS}: Deep Strong Lensing
Observations with WFPC2

LoCuSS is a systematic and detailed investigation of the mass,
substructure, and thermodynamics of 100 X-ray luminous galaxy clusters
at 0.15z0.3. The primary goal is to test our recent suggestion that
this population is dominated by dynamically immature disturbed
clusters, and that the observed mass-temperature relation suffers
strong structural segregation. If confirmed, this would represent a
paradigm shift in our observational understanding of clusters, that
were hitherto believed to be dominated by mature, undisturbed systems.
We propose to complete our successful Cycle 15 program {SNAP:10881}
which prior to premature termination had delivered robust weak-lensing
detections in 17 clusters, and candidate strongly-lensed arcs in 11 of
these 17. These strong and weak lensing signals will give an accurate
measure of the total mass and structure of the dark matter
distribution that we will subsequently compare with X-ray and Sunyaev
Zeldovich Effect observables. The broader applications of our project
include 1} the calibration of mass-temperature and mass-SZE scaling
relations which will be critical for the calibration of proposed dark
energy experiments, and 2} the low redshift baseline study of the
demographics of massive clusters to aid interpretation of future high
redshift {z1} cluster samples. To complete the all-important high
resolution imaging component of our survey, we request deep WFPC2
observations of 20 clusters through the F606W filter, for which
wide-field weak-lensing data are already available from our Subaru
imaging program. The combination of deep WFPC2 and Subaru data for
these 20 clusters will enable us to achieve the science program
approved by the Cycle 15 TAC.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTARS:

11020 - REacq(1,2,1) failed to RGA Hold (Gyro Control)

The REacq(1,2,1) scheduled at 285/01:40:50 - 01:48:54 failed to RGA
Hold due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded Error on FGS-1. One 486 ESB
"a05" (FGS Coarse Track failed-Search Radius Limit Exceeded was
received at 285/01:46:16. Additional ESB
1805(x2)(T2G_MOVING_TARGET_DETECTED) were received. Pre-acquisition
OBADs had (RSS) attitude correction values of 29.38 and 14.40
arcseconds. OBAD/MAP had 3-axis (RSS) error value of 171.29
arcseconds. Prior guide star acquisition was successful.

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

********************** SCHEDULED***** SUCCESSFUL
FGS GSacq************** 11**************** 11
FGS REacq************** 03**************** 02
OBAD with Maneuver 27**************** 27

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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