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Daily Report #4506

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Old December 13th 07, 03:22 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Cooper, Joe
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Posts: 568
Default Daily Report #4506

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT***** # 4506

PERIOD COVERED: UT December 12, 2007 (DOY 346)


ACS/SBC 11309

Chemical Composition of an Exo-Neptune

The recent discovery that the Neptune-like exoplanet GJ 436 b transits
its host star has presented us the first chance to observationally
study ice giant formation beyond our solar system {Gillon et al.
2007}. Using Directors Discretionary time, we propose to obtain a
high-precision light curve of the GJ 436 b transit with the FGS in
order to improve the current radius determination for this planet.
Measuring a precise radius for GJ 436 b will allow us to ascertain
whether the planet has a pure water vapor or H/He envelope like Uranus
and Neptune. Knowing this will constrain its formation and evolution
and help place our own solar system ice giants in a broader context.
Additionally, a precise radius for GJ 436 b will be a necessity for
interpreting the certain follow-up observations of this unique

WFPC2 10886

The Sloan Lens ACS Survey: Towards 100 New Strong Lenses

As a continuation of the highly successful Sloan Lens ACS {SLACS}
Survey for new strong gravitational lenses, we propose one orbit of
ACS-WFC F814W imaging for each of 50 high-probability strong
galaxy-galaxy lens candidates. These observations will confirm new
lens systems and permit immediate and accurate photometry, shape
measurement, and mass modeling of the lens galaxies. The lenses
delivered by the SLACS Survey all show extended source structure,
furnishing more constraints on the projected lens potential than
lensed-quasar image positions. In addition, SLACS lenses have lens
galaxies that are much brighter than their lensed sources,
facilitating detailed photometric and dynamical observation of the
former. When confirmed lenses from this proposal are combined with
lenses discovered by SLACS in Cycles 13 and 14, we expect the final
SLACS lens sample to number 80--100: an approximate doubling of the
number of known galaxy-scale strong gravitational lenses and an
order-of-magnitude increase in the number of optical Einstein rings.
By virtue of its homogeneous selection and sheer size, the SLACS
sample will allow an unprecedented exploration of the mass structure
of the early-type galaxy population as a function of all other
observable quantities. This new sample will be a valuable resource to
the astronomical community by enabling qualitatively new strong
lensing science, and as such we will waive all but a short {3-month}
proprietary period on the observations.

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 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 i mages. Each observation will need its
own CRMAP, as different SAA passages leave different imprints on the
NICMOS detectors.

NIC3 11191

NICMOS Imaging of a z4 High-Redshift Ultraluminous Submillimeter

We propose 16 orbits of deep NICMOS 1.6 um imaging of GOODS850-5, a
unique z4 candidate SCUBA source that is bright in the submillimeter
{submm} but extremely faint at all other wavelengths. GOODS850-5 is a
11 mJy 850 um source discovered in our GOODS- N SCUBA survey. It does
not have a radio counterpart and its accurate location was recently
determined with the SMA interferometer. It is not detected by the
GOODS-N HST ACS imaging and is just above the detection limit of the
ultradeep Spitzer imaging at 3.6-24 um. Its faint radio flux and its
Spitzer color suggest a redshift of z4, and potentially even z6. It
has an incredible star formation rate of ~1000 solar mass per year,
and it can quickly grow into a 10^11 solar mass massive galaxy. Radio
faint submm sources like GOODS850-5 may be a new population of
high-redshift massive galaxies that are not picked up by any of the
previous optical, near-IR, and radio surveys, and therefore it is
crucial to obtain the redshift of GOODS850-5. However, because of its
extreme optical faintness, the only way to constrain its redshift is
photometric redshift with the existing Spitzer photometry and the
proposed NICMOS 1.6 um photometry. NICMOS is the only instrument that
can provide information about its redshift and morphology among all
space- based and ground-based instruments at all wavelengths. The
proposed observation will provide unique insight on galaxy evolution
and mass assembly at high redshift.

WEPC2 11196

An Ultraviolet Survey of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local

At luminosities above 10^11.4 L_sun, the space density of far-infrared
selected galaxies exceeds that of optically selected galaxies. These
Luminous Infrared Galaxies {LIRGs} are primarily interacting or
merging disk galaxies undergoing starbursts and creating/fueling
central AGN. We propose far {ACS/SBC/F140LP} and near {WFPC2/PC/F218W}
UV imaging of a sample of 27 galaxies drawn from the complete IRAS
Revised Bright Galaxy Sample {RBGS} LIRGs sample and known, from our
Cycle 14 B and I-band ACS imaging observations, to have significant
numbers of bright {23 B 21 mag} star clusters in the central 30
arcsec. The HST UV data will be combined with previously obtained HST,
Spitzer, and GALEX images to {i} calculate the ages of the clusters as
function of merger stage, {ii} measure the amount of UV light in
massive star clusters relative to diffuse regions of star formation,
{iii} assess the feasibility of using the UV slope to predict the far-
IR luminosity {and thus the star formation rate} both among and within
IR-luminous galaxies, and {iv} provide a much needed catalog of
rest-frame UV morphologies for comparison with rest-frame UV images of
high-z LIRGs and Lyman Break Galaxies. These observations will achieve
the resolution required to perform both detailed photometry of compact
structures and spatial correlations between UV and redder wavelengths
for a physical interpretation our IRX-Beta results. The HST UV data,
combined with the HST ACS, Spitzer, Chandra, and GALEX observations of
this sample, will result in the most comprehensive study of luminous
starburst galaxies to date.

WFPC2 10915

ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey

Existing HST observations of nearby galaxies comprise a sparse and
highly non-uniform archive, making comprehensive comparative studies
among galaxies essentially impossible. We propose to secure HST's
lasting impact on the study of nearby galaxies by undertaking a
systematic, complete, and carefully crafted imaging survey of ALL
galaxies in the Local Universe outside the Local Group. The resulting
images will allow unprecedented measurements of: {1} the star
formation history {SFH} of a 100 Mpc^3 volume of the Universe with a
time resolution of Delta[log{t}]=0.25; {2} correlations between
spatially resolved SFHs and environment; {3} the structure and
properties of thick disks and stellar halos; and {4} the color
distributions, sizes, and specific frequencies of globular and disk
clusters as a function of galaxy mass and environment. To reach these
goals, we will use a combination of wide-field tiling and pointed deep
imaging to obtain uniform data on all 72 galaxies within a
volume-limited sample extending to ~3.5 Mpc, with an extension to the
M81 group. For each galaxy, the wide-field imaging will cover out to
~1.5 times the optical radius and will reach photometric depths of at
least 2 magnitudes below the tip of the red giant branch throughout
the limits of the survey volume. One additional deep pointing per
galaxy will reach SNR~10 for red clump stars, sufficient to recover
the ancient SFH from the color-magnitude diagram. This proposal will
produce photometric information for ~100 million stars {comparable to
the number in the SDSS survey} and uniform multi- color images of half
a square degree of sky. The resulting archive will establish the
fundamental optical database for nearby galaxies, in preparation for
the shift of high- resolution imaging to the near-infrared.


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

HSTARS: (None)


18162-2 - FSW 3.1B RAM Installation
18054-0 - Preview KF Sun Vector data via Telemetry Diags


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

FGS GSacq************** 06**************** 06
FGS REacq************** 08**************** 08
OBAD with Maneuver **** 26**************** 26


FSW 3.1 Release B was successfully installed in HST486 RAM. The 3.1B
RAM loads were completed at 346/11:59:33. The patch operation to
activate FSW 3.1 Release B was executed during M2G mode at
346/14:01:28, which initialized FSW 3.1B in VSS operations. After
software activation A and T formats were monitored to ensure telemetry
was nominal. The post installation RAM memory dump was completed at
346/15:30:00 and verified by FSW. The database value for Hybrid mode
KG (Zero the CT nutation radius) was patched at 346/15:39:02.


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