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Daily Report #4455



 
 
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Old September 26th 07, 03:10 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Cooper, Joe
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Default Daily Report #4455

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***** # 4455

PERIOD COVERED: UT September 25, 2007 (DOY 268)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

NIC1 10889

The Nature of the Halos and Thick Disks of Spiral Galaxies

We propose to resolve the extra-planar stellar populations of the
thick disks and halos of seven nearby, massive, edge-on galaxies using
ACS, NICMOS, and WFPC2 in parallel. These observations will provide
accurate star counts and color-magnitude diagrams 1.5 magnitudes below
the tip of the Red Giant Branch sampled along the two principal axes
and one intermediate axis of each galaxy. We will measure the
metallicity distribution functions and stellar density profiles from
star counts down to very low average surface brightnesses, equivalent
to ~32 V-mag per square arcsec. These observations will provide the
definitive HST study of extra-planar stellar populations of spiral
galaxies. Our targets cover a range in galaxy mass, luminosity, and
morphology and as function of these galaxy properties we will provide:
- The first systematic study of the radial and isophotal shapes of the
diffuse stellar halos of spiral galaxies - The most detailed
comparative study to date of thick disk morphologies and stellar
populations - A comprehensive analysis of halo and thick disk
metallicity distributions as a function of galaxy type and position
within the galaxy. - A sensitive search for tidal streams - The first
opportunity to directly relate globular cluster systems to their field
stellar population We will use these fossil records of the galaxy
assembly process preserved in the old stellar populations to test halo
and thick disk formation models within the hierarchical galaxy
formation scheme. We will test LambdaCDM predictions on sub-galactic
scales, where it is difficult to test using CMB and galaxy redshift
surveys, and where it faces its most serious difficulties.

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 DARKs. 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.

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 undersampled, 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 10900

Optical polarimetry of PSR B0540-69 and its synchrotron nebula.

Polarization measurements of pulsars and of their synchrotron nebulae
are uniquely able to provide deep insights into the highly magnetized
relativistic environment of young rotating neutron stars. Apart from
the radio band, pulsar polarization is best measured in the optical,
for the rare cases of detectable optical emission. One of the
brightest pulsars together with Crab {PSR B0531+21} and Vela {PSR
B0833-45}, for which optical polarization measurements support the
newly developed two-pole caustic model {TPC}, is PSR B0540-69 in the
Large Magellanic Clouds, often referred as the Crab Twin for their
overall similarities in both age and energetics. Together with the
Crab, PSR B0540-69 is also the only pulsar embedded in a synchrotron
nebula visible at optical wavelengths. We plan to observe PSR B0540-69
and its compact nebula {4 arcsec diameter} with the Advanced Camera
for Surveys {ACS} and the Wide Field Channel {WFC} detector using UV
and visual polarization filters. Thanks to the superb angular
resolution of ACS, these observations will allow us to spectacularly
resolve the pulsar from its nebular background, providing the first
firm measure of the pulsar polarization which will be crucial to
assess, on a broader sample, the validity of the TPC model with
respect to other pulsars magnetosphere models. These observations will
also provide the first detailed polarization map of the nebula,
including the jet and the torus seen in our previous WFPC2 images.

WFPC2 11033

Full Moon Earth Flats Closeout

Flat field exposures will be obtained by observing the moonlit Earth
with the broadband WFPC2 filters F606W and F814W, which saturate in
the minimum exposure time on the sunlit Earth. These observations will
be used to improve the flats currently in the pipeline and are part of
the WFPC2 closeout operations. Because CTE effects are large for star
flats and small for full field illumination, Earth flats are the
superior technique.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTARS:

11004 - GSACQ(1,3,3) fine lock backup on FGS 1

GSACQ(1,3,3) at 269/04:44:27 acquired in fine lock backup on FGS 1
only, with QF3STOPF and QSTOP flags set on FGS 3 at 04:50:02. No other
flags were seen.

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

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

FGS GSacq************** 05**************** 05
FGS REacq************** 09**************** 09
OBAD with Maneuver **** 28**************** 28

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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