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Daily Report #4673

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Old August 13th 08, 02:14 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Cooper, Joe
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Posts: 568
Default Daily Report #4673

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science


PERIOD COVERED: 5am August 12 - 5am August 13, 2008 (DOY


ACS/SBC 11151

Evaluating the Role of Photoevaporation of Protoplanetary Disk Dispersal

Emission produced by accretion onto the central star leads to
photoevaporation, which may play a fundamental role in disk dispersal.
Models of disk photoevaporation by the central star are challenged by two
potential problems: the emission produced by accretion will be substantially
weaker for low-mass stars, and photoevaporation must continue as accretion
slows. Existing FUV spectra of CTTSs are biased to solar-mass stars with
high accretion rates, and are therefore insufficient to address these
problems. We propose use HST/ACS SBC PR130L to obtain FUV spectra of WTTSs
and of CTTSs at low masses and mass accretion rates to provide crucial data
to evaluate photoevaporation models. We will estimate the FUV and EUV
luminosities of low-mass CTTSs with small mass accretion rates, CTTSs with
transition disks and slowed accretion, and of magnetically-active WTTSs.


UV Imaging to Determine the Location of Residual Star Formation in
Galaxies Recently Arrived on the Red Sequence

We have identified a sample of low-redshift {z = 0.04 - 0.10} galaxies that
are candidates for recent arrival on the red sequence. They have red optical
colors indicative of old stellar populations, but blue UV-optical colors
that could indicate the presence of a small quantity of continuing or very
recent star formation. However, their spectra lack the emission lines that
characterize star-forming galaxies. We propose to use ACS/SBC to obtain
high-resolution imaging of the UV flux in these galaxies, in order to
determine the spatial distribution of the last episode of star formation.
WFPC2 imaging will provide B, V, and I photometry to measure the main
stellar light distribution of the galaxy for comparison with the UV imaging,
as well as to measure color gradients and the distribution of interstellar
dust. This detailed morphological information will allow us to investigate
the hypothesis that these galaxies have recently stopped forming stars and
to compare the observed distribution of the last star formation with
predictions for several different mechanisms that may quench star formation
in galaxies.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11330

NICMOS Cycle 16 Extended Dark

This takes a series of Darks in parallel to other instruments.

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 11101

The Relevance of Mergers for Fueling AGNs: Answers from QSO Host

The majority of QSOs are known to reside in centers of galaxies that look
like ellipticals. Numerical simulations have shown that remnants of galaxy
mergers often closely resemble elliptical galaxies. However, it is still
strongly debated whether the majority of QSO host galaxies are indeed the
result of relatively recent mergers or whether they are completely analogous
to inactive ellipticals to which nothing interesting has happened recently.
To address this question, we recently obtained deep HST ACS images for five
QSO host galaxies that were classified morphologically as ellipticals
{GO-10421}. This pilot study revealed striking signs of tidal interactions
such as ripples, tidal tails, and warped disks that were not detected in
previous studies. Our observations show that at least some "elliptical" QSO
host galaxies are the products of relatively recent merger events rather
than old galaxies formed at high redshift. However, the question remains
whether the host galaxies of classical QSOs are truly distinct from inactive
ellipticals and whether there is a connection between the merger events we
detect and the current nuclear activity. We must therefore place our results
into a larger statistical context. We are currently conducting an HST
archival study of inactive elliptical galaxies {AR- 10941} to form a control
sample. We now propose to obtain deep HST/WFPC2 images of 13 QSOs whose host
galaxies are classified as normal ellipticals. Comparing the results for
both samples will help us determine whether classical QSOs reside in normal
elliptical galaxies or not. Our recent pilot study of five QSOs indicates
that we can expect exciting results and deep insights into the host galaxy
morphology also for this larger sample of QSOs. A statistically meaningful
sample will help us determine the true fraction of QSO hosts that suffered
strong tidal interactions and thus, whether a merger is indeed a requirement
to trigger nuclear activity in the most luminous AGNs. In addition to our
primary science observations with WFPC2, we will obtain NICMOS3 parallel
observations with the overall goal to select and characterize galaxy
populations at high redshifts. The imaging will be among the deepest NICMOS
images: These NICMOS images are expected to go to a limit a little over 1
magnitude brighter than HUDF-NICMOS data, but over 13 widely separated
fields, with a total area about 1.5 times larger than HUDF- NICMOS. This
separation means that the survey will tend to average out effects of cosmic
variance. The NICMOS3 images will have sufficient resolution for an initial
characterization of galaxy morphologies, which is currently one of the most
active and promising areas in approaching the problem of the formation of
the first massive galaxies. The depth and area coverage of our proposed
NICMOS observations will also allow a careful study of the mass function of
galaxies at these redshifts. This provides a large and unbiased sample,
selected in terms of stellar mass and unaffected by cosmic variance, to
study the on-going star formation activity as a function of mass {i.e.
integrated star formation} at this very important epoch.

NIC2 11164

Molecular Hydrogen Disks Around T Tauri Stars

We propose to measure the properties of planetary system-sized disks around
Sun- like, pre-main sequence stars by imaging the inner parts of these disks
for the first time in gaseous emission from their most dominant constituent,
molecular hydrogen gas. Specifically, we will use the F212N filter and
NICMOS to determine the spatial distribution of ro-vibrational H2 emission
from protoplanetary disks around selected classical and weak-lined T Tauri
stars. The target stars are among those detected by members of this team
through high resolution, ground-based infrared spectroscopy. The spectra
reveal H2 emission at the rest velocities of the stars and at positions
spatially coincident with the stars at the spatial resolution of the
spectroscopic data. This imaging experiment, which is impossible to do using
ground- based facilities, is possible using the NICMOS camera aboard the HST
because the point spread function of this system is extremely stable and can
be measured to a very high accuracy. This experiment is an important test of
the interpretation that the 2.122 micron H2 line emission seen toward T
Tauri stars is produced at distances of 10 to 30 AU from the stars, the
region in which giant planets are expected to form around these stars. These
observations will contribute toward developing a better understanding of the
process, likelihood, and timescale for the formation of planets around
Sun-like stars.

NIC2 11548

NICMOS Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of
Environment in Star Formation

We propose NICMOS observations of a sample of 252 protostars identified in
the Orion A cloud with the Spitzer Space Telescope. These observations will
image the scattered light escaping the protostellar envelopes, providing
information on the shapes of outflow cavities, the inclinations of the
protostars, and the overall morphologies of the envelopes. In addition, we
ask for Spitzer time to obtain 55-95 micron spectra of 75 of the protostars.
Combining these new data with existing 3.6 to 70 micron photometry and
forthcoming 5-40 micron spectra measured with the Spitzer Space Telescope,
we will determine the physical properties of the protostars such as envelope
density, luminosity, infall rate, and outflow cavity opening angle. By
examining how these properties vary with stellar density (i.e. clusters vs
groups vs isolation) and the properties of the surrounding molecular cloud;
we can directly measure how the surrounding environment influences
protostellar evolution, and consequently, the formation of stars and
planetary systems. Ultimately, this data will guide the development of a
theory of protostellar evolution.

WFPC2 11203

A Search for Circumstellar Disks and Planetary-Mass Companions around Brown
Dwarfs in Taurus

During a 1-orbit program in Cycle 14, we used WFPC2 to obtain the first
direct image of a circumstellar disk around a brown dwarf. These data have
provided fundamental new constraints on the formation process of brown
dwarfs and the properties of their disks. To search for additional direct
detections of disks around brown dwarfs and to search for planetary-mass
companions to these objects, we propose a WFPC2 survey of 32 brown dwarfs in
the Taurus star-forming region.


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

HSTARS: (None)




FGS GSacq 09 09
FGS REacq 06 06
OBAD with Maneuver 30 30


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