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Daily #4041



 
 
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Old February 2nd 06, 01:35 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
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Default Daily #4041

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT #4041

PERIOD COVERED: UT February 01, 2006 (DOY 032)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/HRC 10495

The Nuclear Environment of the Galaxy Hosting the Largest Known Radio
Outburst

We propose to image the cD galaxy host of the most powerful radio
outburst known in the Universe. The outburst was identified in a
Chandra image of a z=0.216 galaxy cluster which revealed a pair of
enormous cavities, each 200 kpc in diameter, embedded in its X-ray
halo. The outburst began approximately 100 Myr ago and has expended
6x10^61 ergs. It is apparently powered by accretion onto the cD's
billion solar mass nuclear black hole, which grew heavier by roughly
1/3 during the outburst. We intend to examine the morphology and
nuclear environment of the host galaxy to understand the conditions
that created this remarkable event.

ACS/HRC 10512

Search for Binaries Among Faint Jupiter Trojan Asteroids

We propose an ambitious SNAPSHOT program to survey faint Jupiter
Trojan asteroids for binary companions. We target 150 objects, with
the expectation of acquiring data on about 50%. These objects span
Vmag = 17.5-19.5, a range inaccessible with ground-based adaptive
optics. We now have a significant sample from our survey of brighter
Trojans to suggest that the binary fraction is similar to that which
we find among brighter main-belt asteroids, roughly 2%. However, our
observations suggest a higher binary fraction for smaller main-belt
asteroids, probably the result of a different formation mechanism
{evident also from the physical characteristics of the binaries}.
Because the collision environment among the Trojans is similar to that
of the Main Belt, while the composition is likely to be very
different, sampling the binary fraction among the fainter Trojans
should help us understand the collisional and binary formation
mechanisms at work in various populations, including the Kuiper Belt,
and help us evaluate theories for the origin of the Trojans.
Calibration of and constraints on models of binary production and
collisional evolution can only be done using these large-scale,
real-life physical systems that we are beginning now to find and
utilize.

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/SBC 10739

Internal Flat Field Stability

The stability of the CCD flat fields will be monitored using the
calibration lamps and a sub-sample of the filter set. For the SBC
imaging filters, differences in the low-frequency flat field structure
with wavelength will be assessed. New high signal P-flats will be
obtained for the SBC prisms.

ACS/WFC 10493

A Survey for Supernovae in Massive High-Redshift Clusters

We propose to measure, to an unprecedented 30% accuracy, the SN-Ia
rate in a sample of massive z=0.5-0.9 galaxy clusters. The SN-Ia rate
is a poorly known observable, especially at high z, and in cluster
environments. The SN rate and its redshift dependence can serve as
powerful discrimiminants for a number of key issues in astrophysics
and cosmology. Our observations will: 1. Put clear constraints on the
characteristic SN-Ia "delay time, " the typical time between the
formation of a stellar population and the explosion of some of its
members as SNe-Ia. Such constraints can exclude entire categories of
SN-Ia progenitor models, since different models predict different
delays. 2. Help resolve the question of the dominant source of the
high metallicity in the intracluster medium {ICM} - SNe-Ia, or
core-collapse SNe from an early stellar population with a top-heavy
IMF, perhaps those population III stars responsible for the early
re-ionization of the Universe. Since clusters are excellent
laboratories for studying enrichment {they generally have a simple
star-formation history, and matter cannot leave their deep
potentials}, the results will be relevant for understanding metal
enrichment in general, and the possible role of first generation stars
in early Universal enrichment. 3. Reveal, via nuclear variability, the
AGN fraction in clusters at this redshift, to be compared with the
field AGN fraction. This will be valuable input for understanding
black-hole demographics, AGN evolution, and ICM energetics. 4.
Potentially discover intergalactic cluster SNe, which can trace the
stripped stellar population at high z.

ACS/WFC 10494

Imaging the mass structure of distant lens galaxies

The surface brightness distribution of extended gravitationally lensed
arcs and Einstein rings contains super-resolved information about the
lensed object, and, more excitingly, about the smooth and clumpy mass
distribution of the lens galaxies. The source and lens information can
non-parametrically be separated, resulting in a direct
"gravitational-mass image" of the inner mass-distribution of
cosmologically-distant galaxies {Koopmans 2005}. With this goal in
mind, we propose deep HST ACS-F555W/F814W and NICMOS-F160W imaging of
15 gravitational-lens systems with spatially resolved lensed sources,
selected from the 17 new lens systems discovered by the Sloan Lens ACS
Survey {Bolton et al. 2004}. Each system has been selected from the
SDSS and confirmed in a time-efficient HST-ACS snapshot program
{cycle-13}; they show highly-magnified arcs or Einstein rings, lensed
by a massive early-type lens galaxy. High- fidelity multi-color HST
images are required {not delivered by the 420-sec snapshot images} to
isolate these lensed images {properly cleaned, dithered and
extinction-corrected} from the lens galaxy surface brightness
distribution, and apply our "gravitational-mass imaging" technique.
The sample of galaxy mass distributions - determined through this
method from the arcs and Einstein ring HST images - will be studied
to: {i} measure the smooth mass distribution of the lens galaxies
{Dark and luminous mass are separated using the HST images and the
stellar M/L values derived from a joint stellar-dynamical analysis of
each system}; {ii} quantify statistically and individually the
incidence of mass-substructure {with or without obvious luminous
counter- parts such as dwarf galaxies}. Since dark-matter substructure
should be considerably more prevalent at higher redshift, both results
provide a direct test of this prediction of the CDM hierarchical
structure-formation model.

ACS/WFC 10543

Microlensing in M87 and the Virgo Cluster

Resolving the nature of dark matter is an urgent problem. The results
of the MACHO survey of the Milky Way dark halo toward the LMC indicate
that a significant fraction of the halo consists of stellar mass
objects. The VATT/Columbia survey of M31 finds a similar lens fraction
in the M31 dark halo. We propose a series of observations with ACS
that will provide the most thorough search for microlensing toward
M87, the central elliptical galaxy of the Virgo cluster. This program
is optimized for lenses in the mass range from 0.01 to 1.0 solar
masses. By comparing with archival data, we can detect lenses as
massive as 100 solar masses, such as the remnants of the first stars.
These observations will have at least 15 times more sensitivity to
microlensing than any previous survey, e.g. using WFPC2. This is due
to the factor of 2 larger area, factor of more than 4 more sensitivity
in the I-band, superior pixel scale and longer baseline of
observations. Based on the halo microlensing results in the Milky Way
and M31, we might expect that galaxy collisions and stripping would
populate the overall cluster halo with a large number of stellar mass
objects. This program would determine definitively if such objects
compose the cluster dark matter at the level seen in the Milky Way. A
negative result would indicate that such objects do not populate the
intracluster medium, and may indicate that galaxy harassment is not as
vigorous as expected. We can measure the level of events due to the
M87 halo: this would be the best exploration to date of such a lens
population in an elliptical galaxy. Star-star lensing should also be
detectable. About 20 erupting classical novae will be seen, allowing
to determine the definitive nova rate for this giant elliptical
galaxy. We will determine if our recent HST detection of an M87
globular cluster nova was a fluke, or indicative of a 100x higher rate
of incidence of cataclysmic variables and nova eruptions in globulars
than previously believed. We will examine the populations of variable
stars, and will be able to cleanly separate them from microlensing.

ACS/WFC 10573

Globular Clusters in the Direction of the Inner Galaxy

The age, chemical and kinematic distributions of stellar populations
provide powerful constraints on models of the formation and evolution
of the Milky Way. The globular clusters constitute an especially
useful case because the stars within individual clusters are coeval
and spatially distinct. But a serious limitation in the study of many
globular clusters -- especially those located near the Galactic Center
-- has been the existence of large absolute and differential
extinction by foreground dust. We propose to use the ACS to map the
differential extinction and remove their effects in a large sample of
globular clusters located in the direction of the inner Galaxy using a
technique refined recently by von Braun and Mateo {2001}. These
observations and their analyses will let us produce high quality
color-magnitude diagrams of these poorly studied clusters that will
allow us to determine these clusters' relative ages, distances and
chemistry and to address important questions about the formation and
the evolution of the inner Galaxy. Our aim for these ACS observations
is to obtain data for the most crowded clusters in the inner Galaxy
where the excellent spatial resolution of the ACS is most necessary.

ACS/WFC 10696

Galaxy Populations at Very Large Cluster Radii III: The Outskirts of
CL J1226.9+3332 at z=0.89

We propose to use the Advanced Camera for Surveys to image 10 selected
fields in the outskirts of X-ray luminous cluster Cl J1226.9+3332 at
z=0.89, for a detailed study of those galaxies entering the cluster
for the first time. These data will be combined with the existing ACS
imaging of the inner portions of the cluster, and be analyzed in
parallel with our wide-field two- color ACS mosaics of MS 1054--03
{z=0.83} and RX J0152--13 {z=0.83}. Together, these studies of the
galaxy populations well beyond the virial radii of the clusters will
allow us to directly {1} study the transformation of infalling field
spirals into cluster early-types using the morphology-density relation
to large radii and very low local densities; {2} measure the frequency
of galaxy-galaxy mergers and interactions in the infall region; and
{3} determine the star-formation histories of those field galaxies
most recently accreted by the cluster, using accurate colors,
morphologies, and M/L ratios. The wide-field HST/ACS data will be
supplemented with both wide-field multi-object spectroscopy and
photometric redshifts from ground-based broadband optical and near-IR
imaging. By studying the clusters out to twice their virial radii, the
three clusters in our sample will directly test predictions for the
formation of early- type galaxies and for the transformation of field
galaxies into present-day cluster galaxies.

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.

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 13 13
FGS REacq 02 02
OBAD with Maneuver 30 30

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)

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