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Daily Report #4739



 
 
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Old November 18th 08, 04:31 PM posted to sci.astro.hubble
Cooper, Joe
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Default Daily Report #4739

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT****** #4739

PERIOD COVERED: 5am November 17 - 5am November 18, 2008 (DOY
*************************** 322/1000z-323/1000z)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

WFPC2 10880

The Host Galaxies of QSO2s: AGN Feeding and Evolution at High
Luminosities

Now that the presence of supermassive black holes in the nuclei of
galaxies is a well established fact, other questions related to the
AGN phenomena still have to be answered. Problems of particular
interest are how the AGN gets fed, how the black hole evolves and how
the evolution of the black hole is related to the evolution of the
galaxy bulge. Here we propose to address some of these issues using
ACS/WFC + F775W snapshot images of 73 QSO2s with redshifts in the
range 0.3z0.4. These observations will be combined with similar
archival data of QSO1s and ground based data of Seyfert and normal
galaxies. First, we will investigate whether interactions are the most
important feeding mechanism in high luminosity AGNs. This will be done
in a quantitative way, comparing the asymmetry indices of QSO2 hosts
with those of lower luminosity AGNs and normal galaxies. Second, we
will do a detailed study of the morphology of the host galaxies of
both QSO types, to determine if they are similar, or if there is an
evolutionary trend from QSO2s to QSO1s. The results from this project
will represent an important step in the understanding of AGN
evolution, and may also introduce a substantial modification to the
Unified Model.

FGS 11212

Filling the Period Gap for Massive Binaries

The current census of binaries among the massive O-type stars is
seriously incomplete for systems in the period range from years to
millennia because the radial velocity variations are too small and the
angular separations too close for easy detection. Here we propose to
discover binaries in this observational gap through a Faint Guidance
Sensor SNAP survey of relatively bright targets listed in the Galactic
O Star Catalog. Our primary goal is to determine the binary frequency
among those in the cluster/association, field, and runaway groups. The
results will help us assess the role of binaries in massive star
formation and in the processes that lead to the ejection of massive
stars from their natal clusters. The program will also lead to the
identification of new, close binaries that will be targets of long
term spectroscopic and high angular resolution observations to
determine their masses and distances. The results will also be
important for the interpretation of the spectra of suspected and newly
identified binary and multiple systems.

WFPC2 11113

Binaries in the Kuiper Belt: Probes of Solar System Formation and
Evolution

The discovery of binaries in the Kuiper Belt and related small body
populations is powering a revolutionary step forward in the study of
this remote region. Three quarters of the known binaries in the Kuiper
Belt have been discovered with HST, most by our snapshot surveys. The
statistics derived from this work are beginning to yield surprising
and unexpected results. We have found a strong concentration of
binaries among low-inclination Classicals, a possible size cutoff to
binaries among the Centaurs, an apparent preference for nearly equal
mass binaries, and a strong increase in the number of binaries at
small separations. We propose to continue this successful program in
Cycle 16; we expect to discover at least 13 new binary systems,
targeted to subgroups where these discoveries can have the greatest
impact.

WFPC2 11130

AGNs with Intermediate-mass Black Holes: Testing the Black Hole-Bulge
Paradigm, Part II

The recent progress in the study of central black holes in galactic
nuclei has led to a general consensus that supermassive {10^6-10^9
solar mass} black holes are closely connected with the formation and
evolutionary history of large galaxies, especially their bulge
component. Two outstanding issues, however, remain unresolved. Can
central black holes form in the absence of a bulge? And does the mass
function of central black holes extend below 10^6 solar masses?
Intermediate-mass black holes {10^6 solar masses}, if they exist, may
offer important clues to the nature of the seeds of supermassive black
holes. Using the SDSS, our group has successfully uncovered a new
population of AGNs with intermediate-mass black holes that reside in
low-luminosity galaxies. However, very little is known about the
detailed morphologies or structural parameters of the host galaxies
themselves, including the crucial question of whether they have bulges
or not. Surprisingly, the majority of the targets of our Cycle 14
pilot program have structural properties similar to dwarf elliptical
galaxies. The statistics from this initial study, however, are really
too sparse to reach definitive conclusions on this important new class
of black holes. We wish to extend this study to a larger sample, by
using the Snapshot mode to obtain WFPC2 F814W images from a parent
sample of 175 AGNs with intermediate- mass black holes selected from
our final SDSS search. We are particularly keen to determine whether
the hosts contain bulges, and if so, how the fundamental plane
properties of the host depend on the mass of their central black
holes. We will also investigate the environment of this unique class
of AGNs.

WFPC2 11218

Snapshot Survey for Planetary Nebulae in Globular Clusters of the
Local Group

Planetary nebulae {PNe} in globular clusters {GCs} raise a number of
interesting issues related to stellar and galactic evolution. The
number of PNe known in Milky Way GCs, 4, is surprisingly low if one
assumes that all stars pass through a PN stage. However, it is likely
that the remnants of stars now evolving in Galactic GCs leave the AGB
so slowly that any ejected nebula dissipates long before the star
becomes hot enough to ionize it. Thus there should not be ANY PNe in
Milky Way GCs--but there are four! It has been suggested that these
PNe are the result of mergers of binary stars within GCs, i.e., that
they are descendants of blue stragglers. The frequency of occurrence
of PNe in external galaxies poses more questions, because it shows a
range of almost an order of magnitude. I propose a Snapshot survey
aimed at discovering PNe in the GC systems of Local Group galaxies
more distant than the Magellanic Clouds. These clusters, some of which
may be much younger than their counterparts in the Milky Way, might
contain many more PNe than those of our own galaxy. I will use the
standard technique of emission-line and continuum imaging, which
easily discloses PNe.

WFPC2 11289

SL2S: The Strong Lensing Legacy Survey

Recent systematic surveys of strong galaxy-galaxy lenses {CLASS,
SLACS, GOODS, etc.} are producing spectacular results for galaxy
masses roughly below a transition mass M~10^13 Mo. The observed lens
properties and their evolution up to z~0.2, consistent with numerical
simulations, can be described by isothermal elliptical potentials. In
contrast, modeling of giant arcs in X-ray luminous clusters {halo
masses M ~10^13 Mo} favors NFW mass profiles, suggesting that dark
matter halos are not significantly affected by baryon cooling. Until
recently, lensing surveys were neither deep nor extended enough to
probe the intermediate mass density regime, which is fundamental for
understanding the assembly of structures. The CFHT Legacy Survey now
covers 125 square degrees, and thus offers a large reservoir of strong
lenses probing a large range of mass densities up to z~1. We have
extracted a list of 150 strong lenses using the most recent CFHTLS
data release via automated procedures. Following our first SNAPSHOT
proposal in cycle 15, we propose to continue the Hubble follow-up
targeting a larger list of 130 lensing candidates. These are
intermediate mass range candidates {between galaxies and clusters}
that are selected in the redshift range of 0.2-1 with no a priori
X-ray selection. The HST resolution is necessary for confirming the
lensing candidates, accurate modeling of the lenses, and probing the
total mass concentration in galaxy groups up to z~1 with the largest
unbiased sample available to date.

WFPC2 11612

Eta Carinae's Continuing Instability and Recovery - the 2009 Event

Eta Carinae is the only really observable example of structural
recovery from a massive giant eruption, a "supernova imposter' event.
Moreover it is the only well-observed star above 100 Msun, and its
5.5-year-recurrent spectroscopic events provide extraordinary clues to
its surface instability. This truly unique combination of attributes
makes it valuable for understanding the most massive stars. A fresh
development arose a few years ago: The star has brightened much faster
than before, and appears to have entered a rapid stage in its
post-eruption recovery.

A spectroscopic event will occur at 2009.0, soon after the planned HST
servicing mission. Because of the recent secular trend, this event is
expected to differ from its well-observed 2003.5 predecessor. The
differences will be very important, because they offer clues to
very-massive-star structural instabilities that can't be observed in
any other known way.

Some of the needed observations require HST's high spatial resolution
and UV coverage. We propose an efficient, well-chosen set of STIS and
ACS observations around the critical time. If the servicing mission is
too late for the event, then a subset of the observations will still
be merited.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTARS:

11576 - GSacq 1,2,1 Failed: Search Radius Limit Exceeded

GSacq 1,2,1 at 322/12:42:12 failed due to search radius limit exceeded
at 12:47:20. ESB message A05 (Exceeded Search Radius Limit) was
received.

Observations affected: WFPC 21, 22, 23,* proposal # 11289

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST:

18364-1 - NCS Restart and Cooldown (ongoing)
18366-0 - Place +BB SPA Trim Relay Back On-Line @ 322/1610z

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

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

FGS GSacq************** 15**************** 14
FGS REacq************** 00**************** 00
OBAD with Maneuver **** 30**************** 30

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS:

Flash Report NCS CPL Operations:

The NCS CPL restart accomplished successfully. The CPL is running with
a setpoint of +12 degC.

Flash Report: +BB SPA On-Line

At approximately 2008/322 16:09 GMT via Ops Request 18366-0, the +BB
SPA trim relay was placed back on-line in FSW with hardware
verification of the +BB SPA closure at 18:00 GMT.


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