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Daily Report #4407



 
 
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Old July 19th 07, 05:36 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Pataro, Pete
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Posts: 33
Default Daily Report #4407

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 # 4407

PERIOD COVERED: UT July 18, 2007 (DOY 199)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/SBC 10907

New Sightlines for the Study of Intergalactic Helium: A Dozen
High-Confidence, UV-Bright Quasars from SDSS/GALEX

The reionization of intergalactic helium is thought to have occurred
between redshifts of about 3 and 4. Detailed study of HeII Lyman-alpha
absorption toward a handful quasars at 2.7z3.3 demonstrates the
great potential of such probes of the IGM, but the current
critically-small sample limits confidence in resulting cosmological
inferences. The requisite unobscured quasar sightlines to
high-redshift are extremely rare, especially due to severe absorption
in random intervening Lyman-limit systems, but SDSS provides thousands
of z3.1 quasars potentially suitable for HeII studies. We have
cross-correlated SDSS quasars with GALEX UV sources to obtain a dozen
new, very high-confidence, candidate quasars/sightlines {z=3.1 to 4.1}
potentially useful for detailed HeII studies even with current HST
instruments. We propose brief, 2-orbit per target, reconnaissance
spectral exposures with the ACS SBC prism to definitively verify UV
flux down to the HeII break. Our combined SDSS/GALEX selection insures
a very high- yield of confirmations, as the quasars are already known
to be UV-bright from broadband GALEX images. The additional
sightlines, extending to very high-redshift, will directly enable
ensemble spectral stacks, as well as long exposure follow-up spectra,
at high S/N with the ACS/SBC ultraviolet prisms {or perhaps STIS or
COS later}, to confidently measure the spectrum and evolution of the
ionizing background radiation, the evolution of HeII opacity, and the
density of intergalactic baryons.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8794

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 5

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.

NIC1/NIC3 10924

Constraints on the Assembly and Dynamical Masses of z~2 Galaxies

We propose deep NICMOS/NIC2 F160W imaging of seven star-forming
galaxies at z~2. These galaxies comprise an entirely unique sample,
with not only redshifts measured from optical and near-IR spectra, but
also SINFONI/VLT near-IR integral field spectroscopic measurements
providing kinematic maps of H-alpha emission out to radii of =10 kpc.
We aim to determine the dynamical masses and evolutionary states of
these systems, as part of the larger goal of understanding how mass is
assembled in distant galaxies. In order to interpret our novel H-alpha
integral field maps in terms of mass, we require detailed knowledge of
the structural parameters of our target objects at rest-frame optical
wavelengths and on ~1 kpc scales. We want to establish if the mass is
distributed in a disk, bulge, or merging sub-units, and if we can
detect tidal features associated with a merger. F160W imaging with
NICMOS/NIC2 provides the perfect combination of sensitivity and
resolution to address these questions, and arrive at the fundamental
quantity: the dynamical mass.

NIC2 10849

Imaging Scattered Light from Debris Disks Discovered by the Spitzer
Space Telescope around 21 Sun-like Stars

We propose to use the high-contrast capability of the NICMOS
coronagraph to image a sample of newly discovered circumstellar disks
associated with Sun-like stars. These systems were identified by their
strong thermal infrared {IR} emission with the Spitzer Space Telescope
as part of the Spitzer Legacy Science program titled "The Formation
and Evolution of Planetary Systems" {FEPS, P.I.: M.Meyer}. Modeling of
the thermal excess emission from the spectral energy distributions
alone cannot distinguish between narrowly confined high-opacity disks
and broadly distributed, low-opacity disks. By resolving light
scattered by the circumstellar material, our proposed NICMOS
observations can break this degeneracy, thus revealing the conditions
under which planet formation processes are occurring or have occurred.
For three of our IR-excess stars that have known radial-velocity
planets, resolved imaging of the circumstellar debris disks may
further offer an unprecedented view of planet-disk interactions in an
extrasolar planetary system. Even non-detections of the light
scattered by the circumstellar material will place strong constraints
on the disk geometries, ruling out disk models with high optical
depth. Unlike previous disk imaging programs, our program contains a
well-defined sample of ~1 solar mass stars covering a range of ages
from 3 Myr to 3 Gyr, thus allowing us to study the evolution of disks
from primordial to debris for the first time. The results from our
program will greatly improve our understanding of the architecture of
debris disks around Sun-like stars, and will create a morphological
context for the existence of our own solar system. This proposal is
for a continuation of an approved Cycle 14 program {GO/10527, P.I.: D.
Hines}.

NIC3 11082

NICMOS Imaging of GOODS: Probing the Evolution of the Earliest Massive
Galaxies, Galaxies Beyond Reionization, and the High Redshift
Obscured Universe

Deep near-infrared imaging provides the only avenue towards
understanding a host of astrophysical problems, including: finding
galaxies and AGN at z 7, the evolution of the most massive galaxies,
the triggering of star formation in dusty galaxies, and revealing
properties of obscured AGN. As such, we propose to observe 60 selected
areas of the GOODS North and South fields with NICMOS Camera 3 in the
F160W band pointed at known massive M 10^11 M_0 galaxies at z 2
discovered through deep Spitzer imaging. The depth we will reach {26.5
AB at 5 sigma} in H_160 allows us to study the internal properties of
these galaxies, including their sizes and morphologies, and to
understand how scaling relations such as the Kormendy relationship
evolved. Although NIC3 is out of focus and under sampled, it is
currently our best opportunity to study these galaxies, while also
sampling enough area to perform a general NIR survey 1/3 the size of
an ACS GOODS field. These data will be a significant resource,
invaluable for many other science goals, including discovering high
redshift galaxies at z 7, the evolution of galaxies onto the Hubble
sequence, as well as examining obscured AGN and dusty star formation
at z 1.5. The GOODS fields are the natural location for HST to
perform a deep NICMOS imaging program, as extensive data from space
and ground based observatories such as Chandra, GALEX, Spitzer, NOAO,
Keck, Subaru, VLT, JCMT, and the VLA are currently available for these
regions. Deep high-resolution near-infrared observations are the one
missing ingredient to this survey, filling in an important gap to
create the deepest, largest, and most uniform data set for studying
the faint and distant universe. The importance of these images will
increase with time as new facilities come on line, most notably WFC3
and ALMA, and for the planning of future JWST observations.

WFPC2 11022

WFPC2 Cycle 15 Decontaminations and Associated Observations

This proposal is for the WFPC2 decons. Also included are instrument
monitors tied to decons: photometric stability check, focus monitor,
pre- and post-decon internals {bias, intflats, kspots, & darks}, UV
throughput check, VISFLAT sweep, and internal UV flat check.

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)

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

FGS GSacq********************** 05************* 05
FGS REacq********************** 10************* 10
OBAD with Maneuver******** **** 30************* 30

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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