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DAILY REPORT # 3990



 
 
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Old November 18th 05, 04:45 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
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Default DAILY REPORT # 3990

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT # 3990

PERIOD COVERED: UT November 16, 2005 (DOY 320)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/HRC 10549

SAINTS - Supernova 1987A INTensive Survey

SAINTS is a program to observe SN 1987A, the brightest supernova in
384 years, as it morphs into the youngest supernova remnant at age 18.
HST is the unique and perfect tool for spatially- resolved
observations of the many physical components of SN 1987A. A violent
encounter is underway between the fastest-moving debris and the
circumstellar ring, exciting hotspots seen with HST that are suddenly
lighting up. The optical and X-ray flux from the ring are both rising
rapidly: HST and Chandra observations taken together are needed to
understand the physics of these shocked regions. In Cycle14, the
hotspots may fuse as the shock fully enters the ring. Photons from
these shocks may excite previously hidden gas outside the ring,
revealing the true extent of the mass loss that preceded the
explosion. The inner debris of the explosion itself, still excited by
radioactive isotopes produced in the explosion, is now well resolved
by ACS and seen to be aspherical, providing direct clues to the
mechanism of the explosion. Our search for a compact remnant is
beginning to eliminate some theoretical possibilities and we have the
opportunity in Cycle 14 to place much more stringent limits with
NICMOS. Many questions about SN 1987A remain unanswered. How did the
enigmatic three rings form in the late stages of Sanduleak -69 202?
Precisely what took place in the center during the core collapse and
bounce? Is a black hole or a neutron star left behind in the debris?
SAINTS has been a continuous program since HST was launched-- we
propose to extend this rich and deep data set for present use and
future reference to answer these central questions in the science of
supernovae.

ACS/HRC 10738

Earth Flats

Sky flats will be obtained by observing the bright Earth with the HRC
and WFC. These observations will be used to verify the accuracy of the
flats currently in the pipeline and to monitor any changes. Weekly
coronagraphic monitoring is required to assess the changing position
of the spots.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10514

Kuiper Belt Binaries: Probes of Early Solar System Evolution

Binaries in the Kuiper Belt are a scientific windfall: in them we have
relatively fragile test particles which can be used as tracers of the
early dynamical evolution of the outer Solar System. We propose a
Snapshot program using the ACS/HRC that has a potential discovery
efficiency an order of magnitude higher than the HST observations that
have already discovered the majority of known transneptunian binaries.
By more than doubling the number of observed objects in dynamically
hot and cold subpopulations we will be able to answer, with
statistical significance, the question of whether these groups differ
in the abundance of binaries as a result of their particular dynamical
paths into the Kuiper Belt. Today's Kuiper Belt bears the imprints of
the final stages of giant-planet building and migration; binaries may
offer some of the best preserved evidence of that long-ago era.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10729

ACS CCDs daily monitor

This program consists of a set of basic tests to monitor, the read
noise, the development of hot pixels and test for any source of noise
in ACS CCD detectors. The files, biases and dark will be used to
create reference files for science calibration. This programme will be
for the entire lifetime of ACS. Changes from cycle 13:- The default
gain for WFC is 2 e-/DN. As before bias frames will be collected for
both gain 1 and gain 2. Dark frames are acquired using the default
gain {2}. This program cover the period Oct, 2 2005- May, 29-2006. The
second half of the program has a different proposal number: 10758.

ACS/WFC 10491

A Snapshot Survey of the most massive clusters of galaxies

We propose a snapshot survey of a sample of 124 high X-ray luminosity
clusters in the redshift range 0.3-0.7. Similarly luminous clusters at
these redshifts frequently exhibit strong gravitational lensing. The
proposed observations will provide important constraints on the nature
of the cluster mass distributions and a set of optically bright,
lensed galaxies for further 8-10m spectroscopy. We acknowledge the
broad community interest in this sample and waive our data rights for
these observations.

ACS/WFC 10526

Dynamics of the Polarization Structure of the Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula is not a free expansion SNR. Rather, it is a pulsar
wind nebula expanding from the inside out into a larger remnant of
freely expanding ejecta. At the heart of this object is the Crab
Pulsar and the region where the pulsar's highly nonisotropic wind
interacts with the larger synchtron nebula. HST and Chandra monitoring
has shown this to be one of the most intricately structured and highly
dynamical objects ever observed. In Cycle 12 we demonstrated our
ability to use the polarization capabilities of the ACS to isolate
physically discrete features within the Crab Synchrotron Nebula and
accurately measure their polarization characteristics. These data
provide a unique look at the physical structure in the heart of the
Crab, adding a new dimension to past observations. Polarization
provides extensive information about field geometries, the degree of
disorder in the field, and particle pitch angle distributions. But one
image of the Crab is like a single image of waves at the beach. It
necessarily misses the point. In the Crab, the name of the game is
"dynamics". In this proposal we request time to monitor changes in the
polarization structure of the Crab. This program will allow us to
follow the changing polarization of features including
relativistically moving wisps in the Crab Nebula. This is the only
place in the sky where a dynamic relativistic plasma can be observed
in sufficient detail to make such measurements possible, and the
HST/ACS is the only instrument that we are likely to see in our
careers capable of making the measurement. These observations will be
an important addition to the already rich observational legacy of HST
for what is arguably the most important single object in astrophysics.

ACS/WFC/NIC3 10541

Probing the jet mattter content of quasar PKS 0637-752

The matter content {electron-proton vs electron-positron composition}
of extragalactic jets remains unknown, despite over three decades of
work. Here, we propose NICMOS/NIC3 and ACS observations of the
Chandra-detected, one sided jet of the superluminal quasar PKS 0637-
752 to derive the jet matter content by measuring the component of the
Cosmic Microwave Background {CMB} radiation that is bulk-Comptonized
{BC} by the cold electrons in the relativistically flowing large scale
jet. What makes this source particularly suited for this procedure, is
the absence of significant non-thermal jet emission from the 'bridge',
the region between the core and the first bright knot WK7.8,
guaranteeing that most of the electrons in the bridge are cold,
leaving the BC scattered CMB radiation as the only significant source
of photons in this region. The proposed NICMOS and ACS observations of
the knot WK7.8 will provide spectral information in the IR-UV regime,
which, together with existing multiwavelength data, will be used to
derive the jet Doppler factor and minimum power necessary to power the
knot emission as a function of the jet matter content. These will in
turn be used to deduce, or strongly constrain, the actual jet matter
content through comparison with the proposed NICMOS observations of
the BC 'bridge' emission.

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 8790

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 1.

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.

WFPC2 10481

HST Observations of Astrophysically Important Visual Binaries

This is a continuation of a project begun in Cycle 7 and continued up
through Cycle 11. The program consists of annual or biannual WFPC2 or
FGS observations of three visual binary stars that will ultimately
yield fundamental astrophysical results, once their orbits and masses
are determined. Our targets are the following: {1} Procyon {P = 41
yr}, for which our first WFPC2 images yielded an extremely accurate
angular separation of the bright F star and its much fainter
white-dwarf companion. Combined with ground-based astrometry of the
bright star, our observation significantly revised downward the
derived masses, and brought Procyon A into excellent agreement with
theoretical evolutionary tracks for the first time. With the continued
monitoring proposed here, we will obtain masses to an accuracy of
better than 1%, providing a testbed for theories of both Sun-like
stars and white dwarfs. {2} G 107-70, a close double white dwarf {P =
19 yr} that promises to add two accurate masses to the tiny handful of
white-dwarf masses that are directly known from dynamical
measurements. {3} Mu Cas {P = 21 yr}, a famous metal-deficient G dwarf
for which accurate masses will lead to the stars' helium contents,
with cosmological implications.

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 03 03
OBAD with Maneuver 26 26
LOSS of LOCK

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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