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Daily 3713

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Old October 12th 04, 04:18 PM
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Default Daily 3713

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science




NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 9993

Cycle 12 NICMOS dark current, shading profile, and read noise
monitoring program

The purpose of this proposal is to monitor the dark current, read
noise, and shading profile for all three NICMOS detectors throughout
the duration of Cycle 12. This proposal is an essentially unchanged
continuation of PID 9636 which cover the duration of Cycle 11.

ACS/WFC 9744

HST Imaging of Gravitational Lenses

Gravitational lenses offer unique opportunities to study cosmology,
dark matter, galactic structure, galaxy evolution and quasar host
galaxies. They are also the only sample of galaxies selected based on
their mass rather than their luminosity or surface brightness. While
gravitational lenses can be discovered with ground-based optical and
radio observations, converting them into astrophysical tools requires
HST. HST has demonstrated that it can in each case precisely locate
the lens galaxy, measure its luminosity, color and structure, and
search for lensed images of the source host galaxy given the typical
image separations of ~1''. We will obtain ACS/WFC V and I images and
NICMOS H images of 21 new lenses never observed by HST and NICMOS H
images of 16 lenses never observed by HST in the IR. As in previous
cycles, we request that the data be made public immediately.

NIC3 9735

ACS, NICMOS, and STIS Observations of Three Ongoing Mergers

We propose to make ACS {U, B, V, I, H_alpha}, NICMOS {J, H, K}, and
STIS {long-slit H_alpha} observations of NGC 520, NGC 2623, and NGC
3256, three merging galaxies in the middle of the Toomre Sequence and
currently in the throes of violent relaxation. Two of these {NGC 2623
and NGC 3256} are the most IR luminous galaxies in the sequence.
Hence, these ongoing mergers are ideal candidates for studying the
triggering mechanism responsible for the formation of stars and star
clusters. The ACS observations will allow us to age date the star
clusters, and reliably distinguish clusters from stars based on their
apparent sizes. They will also be used in conjunction with
ground-based measurements of the stellar velocity dispersion to
determine dynamical masses of the clusters and hence address the
question of whether the IMF is truncated. The NICMOS observations will
allow us to penetrate the dust and answer several fundamental
questions such as: What fraction of the young clusters are hidden by
dust? How do these clusters form and evolve? The STIS observations
will allow us to study the kinematics of the young cluster system and
measure the pressure and shock properties which may be triggering the
formation of the clusters. A better understanding of how mergers form
tremendous numbers of clusters and stars in the local universe will
help shed light on processes that were crucial during galaxy assembly
in the high-z universe.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8793

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 4

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.

NIC3 10442

Searching for an IR counterpart of the Soft Gamma Repeater SGR 1806-20

We propose to observe the field of the Soft Gamma Repeater, SGR
1806-20, with HST/NICMOS to identify its infrared counterpart by
comparison to images of the field in quiescence and moderate activity.
The source has recently emitted two very intense and rare flares in
the X-rays leading to a significant increase in its persistent X-ray
emission. Should the source follow the trend observed for a similar
object, namely the AXP 1E2259+586, which exhibited IR and X-ray
emission rising and falling in tandem, this extreme current SGR
activity is probably the only source state, where we would be able to
detect an IR counterpart for Soft Gamma Repeaters.


CCD Hot Pixel Annealing

Hot pixel annealing will continue to be performed once every 4 weeks.
The CCD TECs will be turned off and heaters will be activated to bring
the detector temperatures to about +20C. This state will be held for
approximately 12 hours, after which the heaters are turned off, the
TECs turned on, and the CCDs returned to normal operating condition.
To assess the effectiveness of the annealing, a bias and four dark
images will be taken before and after the annealing procedure for both
WFC and HRC. The HRC darks are taken in parallel with the WFC darks.
The charge transfer efficiency {CTE} of the ACS CCD detectors declines
as damage due to on-orbit radiation exposure accumulates. This
degradation has been closely monitored at regular intervals, because
it is likely to determine the useful lifetime of the CCDs. We will now
combine the annealing activity with the charge transfer efficiency
monitoring and also merge into the routine dark image collection. To
this end, the CTE monitoring exposures have been moved into this
proposal . All the data for this program is acquired using internal
targets {lamps} only, so all of the exposures should be taken during
Earth occultation time {but not during SAA passages}. This program
emulates the ACS pre-flight ground calibration and post-launch SMOV
testing {program 8948}, so that results from each epoch can be
directly compared. Extended Pixel Edge Response {EPER} and First Pixel
Response {FPR} data will be obtained over a range of signal levels for
both the Wide Field Channel {WFC}, and the High Resolution Channel


ACS CCDs daily monitor- cycle 13 - part 1

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.

ACS/WFC 10334

i-Band Dropouts around High-z Radio Quasars

We will carry out deep F606W/F814W or F775W/F850LP imaging of three
high-redshift radio quasars to search for an excess of dropouts. Also
see program 9291 and 9777.

ACS/HRC 10272

A Snapshot Survey of the Sites of Recent, Nearby Supernovae

During the past few years, robotic {or nearly robotic} searches for
supernovae {SNe}, most notably our Lick Observatory Supernova Search
{LOSS}, have found hundreds of SNe, many of them in quite nearby
galaxies {cz 4000 km/s}. Most of the objects were discovered before
maximum brightness, and have follow-up photometry and spectroscopy;
they include some of the best-studied SNe to date. We propose to
conduct a snapshot imaging survey of the sites of some of these nearby
objects, to obtain late-time photometry that {through the shape of the
light and color curves} will help reveal the origin of their lingering
energy. The images will also provide high-resolution information on
the local environment of SNe that are far superior to what we can
procure from the ground. For example, we will obtain color-color and
color-magnitude diagrams of stars in these SN sites, to determine
their progenitor masses and constraints on the reddening. Recovery of
the SNe in the new HST images will also allow us to actually pinpoint
their progenitor stars in cases where pre-explosion images exist in
the HST archive. Use of ACS rather than WFPC2 will make our snapshot
survey even more valuable than our Cycle 9 survey. This Proposal is
complementary to our Cycle 13 archival proposal, in which we outline a
plan for using existing HST images to glean information about SN

ACS/WFC 10257

Astrometric and Photometric Study of NGC 6397 for Internal Motions,
Dark Binaries, and X-Ray Sources

We propose to observe the central regions of the globular cluster NGC
6397 with ACS/WFC once per month for the 10 months of its visibility
in Cycle 13. The project has three main goals: {1} Measure internal
motions for roughly 3000 stars within 150 arcseconds of the cluster
center, using archival WFPC2 as a first epoch. The motion of the
typical star will be measured to 10-20%. We will detect any central
black hole {BH} with a mass greater than 1000 solar masses, and will
also measure core-collapse signatures such as anisotropy. {2} Conduct
the first-ever search for heavy binaries by looking for the
astrometric "wobble" of the luminous secondary. We should find all
heavy binaries in the field with separations between 1 and 5 AU and
periods between 3 months and 5 years. {3} Search for optical
counterparts to X-ray sources found by Chandra.


The HST survey of the Orion Nebula Cluster

We propose a Treasury Program of 104 HST orbits to perform the
definitive study of the Orion Nebula Cluster, the Rosetta stone of
star formation. We will cover with unprecedented sensitivity {23-25
mag}, dynamic range {~12 mag}, spatial resolution {50mas}, and
simultaneous spectral coverage {5 bands} a ~450 square arcmin field
centered on the Trapezium stars. This represents a tremendous gain
over the shallow WFC1 study made in 1991 with the aberrated HST on an
area ~15 times smaller. We maximize the HST observing efficiency using
ACS/WFC and WFPC2 in parallel with two opposite roll angles, to cover
the same total field. We will assemble the richest, most accurate and
unbiased HR diagram for pre-main-sequence objects ever made. Combined
with the optical spectroscopy already available for ~1000 sources and
new deep near-IR imaging and spectroscopy {that we propose as Joint
HST-NOAO observations}, we will be able to attack and possibly solve
the most compelling questions on stellar evolution: the calibration of
pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks, mass segration and the
variation of the initial mass function in different environments, the
evolution of mass accretion rates vs. age and environment, disk
dissipation in environments dominated by hard vs. soft-UV radiation,
stellar multiplicity vs. disk fraction. In addition, we expect to
discover and classify an unknown, but substantial, population of
pre-Main Sequence binaries, low mass stars and brown dwarfs down to
~10 MJup. This is also the best possible way to discover dark
silhouette disks in the outskirts of the Orion Nebula and study their
evolutionary status through multicolor imaging. This program is timely
and extremely well leveraged to other programs targeting Orion: the
ACS H-alpha survey of the Orion Nebula, the recently completed 850ks
ultradeep Chandra survey, the large GTO programs to be performed with
SIRTF, plus the availability of 2MASS and various deep JHK surveys of
the core recently done with 8m class telescopes.

NIC/NIC3 10226

The NICMOS Grism Parallel Survey

We propose to continue managing the NICMOS pure parallel program.
Based on our experience, we are well prepared to make optimal use of
the parallel opportunities. The improved sensitivity and efficiency of
our observations will substantially increase the number of
line-emitting galaxies detected. As our previous work has
demonstrated, the most frequently detected line is Halpha at
0.7z1.9, which provides an excellent measure of current star
formation rate. We will also detect star-forming and active galaxies
in other redshift ranges using other emission lines. The grism
observations will produce by far the best available Halpha luminosity
functions over the crucial--but poorly observed--redshift range where
galaxies appear to have assembled most of their stellar mass. This key
process of galaxy evolution needs to be studied with IR data; we found
that observations at shorter wavelengths appear to have missed a large
fraction of the star-formation in galaxies, due to dust reddening. We
will also obtain deep F110W and F160W images, to examine the space
densities and morphologies of faint red galaxies. In addition to
carrying out the public parallels, we will make the fully reduced and
calibrated images and spectra available on-line, with some
ground-based data for the deepest parallel fields included.

ACS/WFC 10217

The ACS Fornax Cluster Survey

The two rich clusters nearest to the Milky Way, and the only large
collections of early-type galaxies within ~ 25 Mpc, are the Virgo and
Fornax Clusters. We propose to exploit the exceptional imaging
capabilities of the ACS/WFC to carry out the most comprehensive
imaging survey to date of early-type galaxies in Fornax: the ACS
Fornax Cluster Survey. Deep ACS/WFC images -- in the F475W {g'} and
F850LP {z'} bands -- will be acquired for 44 E, S0, dE, dE, N and dS0
cluster members. In Cycle 11, we initiated a similar program targeting
early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster {the ACS Virgo Cluster
Survey; GO-9401}. Our proposed survey of Fornax would yield an
extraordinary dataset which would complement that already in hand for
Virgo, and allow a definitive study of the role played by environment
in the structure, formation and evolution of early-type galaxies and
their globular cluster systems, nuclei, stellar populations, dust
content, nuclear morphologies and merger histories. It would also be a
community resource for years to come and, together with the ACS Virgo
Cluster Survey, constitute one of the lasting legacies of HST.

ACS/WFC 10216

Co-evolution of spheroids and black holes

The masses of the giant black holes in galaxies are correlated with
the luminosities, masses, and velocity dispersions of their host
spheroids. This empirical connection of phenomena on widely different
scales {from sub-parsec to kiloparsec} suggests that the evolution of
a galaxy and its central black hole are closely linked. We propose to
test various unified formation models, by measuring the cosmic
evolution of the black hole/spheroid relations, back to z=0.37 {a
lookback time of 4 Gyrs}. We will obtain 1-orbit ACS images of a
sample of 20 Seyfert 1 galaxies, for which we already have extensive
new ground-based measures of the black hole masses and the stellar
velocity dispersions. HST resolution is required for accurate
measurement of the nonstellar AGN continuum, and the luminosity and
effective radius of the bulge of each host galaxy. This will complete
the set of observables needed to map the co-evolution of spheroids and
black-holes. The proposed sample is the minimum required to make the
first measure of the black hole mass/bulge correlation and of the
fundamental plane for active galaxies outside the local Universe.

ACS/WFC 10210

Groups of Dwarf Galaxies: Pools of Mostly Dark Matter?

Within 5 Mpc, there are 6 groups with well-known luminous galaxies but
there also appears to be a comparable number of groups containing only
dwarfs. If these dwarf entities are truly bound then M/L values are an
order of magnitude higher than values found for groups with luminous
spiral galaxies. There are theoretical reasons to anticipate that low
mass halos may frequently be mostly dark. The dynamical influence of
low mass halos is negligible in familiar groups with luminous members.
By contrast, a study of the dynamics of `groups of dwarfs' may provide
direct evidence of the existence of dark matter potential wells with
few baryons. The goal of the present study is to gather detailed
information on the 3-D distribution of dwarf galaxies suspected to lie
within 7 groups of dwarfs within 5 Mpc. Distances with 7% relative
accuracy can be measured with the Tip of the Giant Branch method with
ACS and integrations within 1 orbit per target.

NIC1 10208

NICMOS Differential Imaging Search for Planetary Mass Companions to
Nearby Young Brown Dwarfs

We propose to use the differential spectral imaging capability of
HST/NICMOS {NIC1} to search for planetary mass companions. We target
the twelve most nearby {within 30 pc}, isolated {no known close
companion}, and young { 1Gyr} brown dwarfs. All of them have spectral
type L and show signs of Lithium absorption, which clearly proves
their substellar nature and youth. Planetary mass companions with
masses down to 6 Jupiter masses, and at separations larger than 3 A.U.
are bright enough for a direct detection with HST/NICMOS using the
spectral differential imaging technique in two narrow-band filters
placed on and off molecular bands. The proposed project has the
potential to lead to the first direct detection of a planetary mass
object in orbit around a nearby brown dwarf.

FGS 10202

Resolving OB Binaries in the Carina Nebula, Resuming the Survey

In March 2002 we carried out a small, high-angular resolution survey
of some of the brightest OB stars in the Carina Nebula with FGS1r in
an attempt to resolve binary systems which had thus far evaded
detection by other techniques. Of 23 stars observed, 5 new OB binaries
were discovered with component separations ranging from 0.015"
to0.325". This yield over the spatial domain of FGS1r's angular
resolution, coupled with published statistics of the incidence of OB
stars in short-period spectroscopic, and long-period visual binaries
suggests that the fraction of binarity or multiplicity among OB stars
is near unity. Our unexpected resolution of the prototype O2 If* star
HD 93129A as a 55 milli-arcsecond double is a case in point that great
care must be exercised when one attempts to establish the IMF and
upper-mass cuttoff at the high-mass end of the HR diagram. We propose
to resume the survey to observe a larger, statistically meaningful
sample of OB stars to establish a firm assessment of multiplicity at
the high-mass end of the IMF in these clusters. We will also
investigate the single-star/binary-star status of several
astrophysically important, individual stars in order to enable a
better understanding of the evolution of high-mass stars.

ACS/HRC 10199

The Most Massive Galaxies in the Universe: Double Trouble?

We are proposing an HST snapshot survey of 70 objects with velocity
dispersion larger than 350 km/s, selected from the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey. Potentially this sample contains the most massive galaxies in
the Universe. Some of these objects may be superpositions; HST imaging
is the key to determining if they are single and massive or if they
are two objects in projection. The objects which HST imaging shows to
be single objects are interesting because they potentially harbor the
most massive black holes, and because their existence places strong
constraints on galaxy formation models. When combined with ground
based data already in hand, the objects which HST imaging shows are
superpositions provide valuable information about interaction rates of
early-type galaxies as well as their dust content. They also constrain
the allowed parameter space for models of binary gravitational lenses
{such models are currently invoked to explain discrepancies in the
distribution of lensed image flux ratios and separations}.


The Star Formation History and Metallicity Evolution of M33: A
Comprehensive Study of Disk Evolution

We will obtain deep, panchromatic imaging photometry of stellar
populations in four fields ranging from 0.5 to 4 scale lengths across
the disk of the Local Group spiral M33. The observations are designed
to detect the oldest main-sequence turnoffs in three outer disk
fields, and to reach the crowding limit in the innermost field. We
will combine the photometry data with information we already have
in-hand on abundances from stars and H II regions in M33 to derive the
star formation history and metallicity evolution of the M33 disk. The
information from our four fields will allow us to obtain {1} the ages
of the oldest disk stars and the radial variation of their ages; {2}
the radial variation of the star formation history and its nature
{e.g., constant, declining, or bursting}; and {3} the metallicity
distribution in each field and the time evolution of the metallicity
gradient. Our team, an experienced mix of photometrists,
spectroscopists, and galaxy evolution theorists, will use the results
from this program to construct a comprehensive chemo-dynamical model
for the M33 disk. This detailed study of M33 will be a key in
developing an understanding of the formation and evolution of disks
that can be applied to studies of disks at both low and high redshift,
and will also yield a wealth of information on stellar populations,
chemical evolution, and star clusters that will be of great value to
future investigators.

ACS/WFC/NIC2 10189

PANS-Probing Acceleration Now with Supernovae

Type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} provide the most direct evidence for an
accelerating Universe, a result widely attributed to dark energy.
Using HST in Cycle 11 we extended the Hubble diagram with 6 of the 7
highest-redshift SNe Ia known, all at z1.25, providing conclusive
evidence of an earlier epoch of cosmic deceleration. The full sample
of 16 new SNe Ia match the cosmic concordance model and are
inconsistent with a simple model of evolution or dust as alternatives
to dark energy. Understanding dark energy may be the biggest current
challenge to cosmology and particle physics. To understand the nature
of dark energy, we seek to measure its two most fundamental
properties: its evolution {i.e., dw/dz}, and its recent equation of
state {i.e., w{z=0}}. SNe Ia at z1, beyond the reach of the ground
but squarely within the reach of HST with ACS, are crucial to break
the degeneracy in the measurements of these two basic aspects of dark
energy. The SNe Ia we have discovered and measured with HST in Cycle
11, now double the precision of our knowledge of both properties. Here
we propose to quadruple the sample of SNe Ia at z1 in the next two
cycles, complementing on-going surveys from the ground at z1, and
again doubling the precision of dark energy constraints. Should the
current best fit model prove to be the correct one, the precision
expected from the current proposal will suffice to rule out a
cosmological constant at the 99% confidence level. Whatever the
result, these objects will provide the basis with which to extend our
empirical knowledge of this newly discovered and dominant component of
the Universe, and will remain one of the most significant legacies of
HST. In addition, our survey and follow-up data will greatly enhance
the value of the archival data within the target Treasury fields for
galaxy studies.

ACS/HRC 10182

Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Type Ia Supernovae: The
Necessity of UV Observations

Type Ia supernovae {SNe Ia} are very important to many diverse areas
of astrophysics, from the chemical evolution of galaxies to
observational cosmology which led to the discovery of dark energy and
the accelerating Universe. However, the utility of SNe Ia as
cosmological probes depends on the degree of our understanding of SN
Ia physics, and various systematic effects such as cosmic chemical
evolution. At present, the progenitors of SNe Ia and the exact
explosion mechanisms are still poorly understood, as are evolutionary
effects on SN Ia peak luminosities. Since early-time UV spectra and
light curves of nearby SNe Ia can directly address these questions, we
propose an approach consisting of two observational components: {1}
Detailed studies of two very bright, young, nearby SNe Ia with HST UV
spectroscopy at 13 epochs within the first 1.5 months after discovery;
and {2} studies of correlations with luminosity for five somewhat more
distant Hubble-flow SNe Ia, for which relative luminosities can be
determined with precision, using 8 epochs of HST UV spectroscopy
and/or broad-band imaging. The HST data, along with extensive
ground-based optical to near-IR observations, will be analyzed with
state-of-the-art models to probe SN Ia explosion physics and constrain
the nature of the progenitors. The results will form the basis for the
next phase of precision cosmology measurements using SNe Ia, allowing
us to more fully capitalize on the substantial past {and future}
investments of time made with HST in observations of high-redshift SNe

NIC2 10176

Coronagraphic Survey for Giant Planets Around Nearby Young Stars

A systematic imaging search for extra-solar Jovian planets is now
possible thanks to recent progress in identifying "young stars near
Earth". For most of the proposed young {~ 30 Myrs} and nearby {~ 60
pc} targets, we can detect a few Jupiter-mass planets as close as a
few tens of AUs from the primary stars. This represents the first time
that potential analogs of our solar system - that is planetary systems
with giant planets having semi-major axes comparable to those of the
four giant planets of the Solar System - come within the grasp of
existing instrumentation. Our proposed targets have not been observed
for planets with the Hubble Space Telescope previously. Considering
the very successful earlier NICMOS observations of low mass brown
dwarfs and planetary disks among members of the TW Hydrae Association,
a fair fraction of our targets should also turn out to posses low mass
brown dwarfs, giant planets, or dusty planetary disks because our
targets are similar to {or even better than} the TW Hydrae stars in
terms of youth and proximity to Earth. Should HST time be awarded and
planetary mass candidates be found, proper motion follow-up of
candidate planets will be done with ground-based AOs.

NIC2 10173

Infrared Snapshots of 3CR Radio Galaxies

Radio galaxies are an important class of extragalactic objects: they
are one of the most energetic astrophysical phenomena and they provide
an exceptional probe of the evolving Universe, lying typically in high
density regions but well-represented across a wide redshift range. In
earlier Cycles we carried out extensive HST observations of the 3CR
sources in order to acquire a complete and quantitative inventory of
the structure, contents and evolution of these important objects.
Amongst the results, we discovered new optical jets, dust lanes,
face-on disks with optical jets, and revealed point-like nuclei whose
properties support FR-I/BL Lac unified schemes. Here, we propose to
obtain NICMOS infrared images of 3CR sources with z0.3 as a major
enhancement to an already superb dataset. We aim to deshroud dusty
galaxies, study the underlying host galaxy free from the distorting
effects of dust, locate hidden regions of star formation and establish
the physical characteristics of the dust itself. We will measure
frequency and spectral energy distributions of point-like nuclei,
expected to be stronger and more prevalent in the IR, seek spectral
turnovers in known synchrotron jets and find new jets. We will
strongly test unified AGN schemes and merge these data with existing
X-ray to radio observations. The resulting database will be an
incredibly valuable resource to the astronomical community for years
to come.

NIC2 10169

Star Formation in Luminous Infrared Galaxies: giant HII Regions and
Super Star Clusters

Luminous Infrared Galaxies {LIRGs, LIR = 10^11-10^12Lsol} and
Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies {LIR10^12Lsol} account for
approximately 75% of all the galaxies detected in the mid-infrared in
the redshift range z=0-1.5. In the local universe it is found that
LIRGs are predominantly powered by intense star formation {SF}.
However, the physical conditions and processes governing such dramatic
activity over scales of tens to a few hundred parsecs are poorly
known. In the last decade HST has been playing a significant role,
mainly with the discovery of super star cluters {SSCs}, and more
recently, giant HII regions. Based on observations of a few LIRGs, we
found that these giant HII regions and associated SSCs appear to be
more common in LIRGs than in normal galaxies, and may dominate the
star formation activity in LIRGs. A larger sample is required to
address fundamental questions. We propose an HST/NICMOS targeted
campaign of a volume limited sample {v5200km/s} of 24 LIRGs. This
proposal will probe the role of giant HII regions in the overall
energetics of the current star formation, their relation to SSCs, and
the dependence of star formation properties on other parameters of
LIRGs. Such detailed knowledge of the SF properties of LIRGs in the
local universe is essential for understanding galaxies at high

NIC1 10143

Ultracool companions to the nearest L dwarfs

We propose to conduct the most sensitive survey to date for low mass
companions to nearby L dwarfs. We will use NICMOS to image targets
drawn from a volume-complete sample of 70 L dwarfs within 20 parsecs.
The combination of infrared imaging and proximity will allow us to
search for T dwarf companions at separations as small as 1.6 AU. This
is crucial, since no ultracool binaries are currently known with
separations exceeding 15 AU. Only 10 dwarfs in this sample have
previous HST observations primarily at optical wavelengths. With the
increased sensitivity of our survey, we will provide the most
stringent test to date of brown dwarf models which envisage formation
as ejected stellar embryos. In addition, our observations will be
capable of detecting binaries with mass ratios as low as 0.3, and will
therefore also test the apparent preference for equal-mass ultracool
binaries. Finally, our observations offer the best prospect to date of
detecting companions significantly cooler than the coolest t dwarf
currently known.

ACS/HRC 10137

Cluster Archeology: The Origin of Ultra-compact Dwarf Galaxies

Ultra-compact dwarf {UCD} galaxies are a new type of galaxy we have
discovered in the central regions of the Fornax and Virgo galaxy
clusters. Our most recent observations in the Fornax Cluster show that
UCDs outnumber normal galaxies in the center of that cluster. Here we
propose snapshot imaging of UCDs in the Fornax and Virgo clusters to
test theories of how these fascinating objects formed. In particular
we wish to image Virgo cluster UCDs for which we have ground-based
Keck spectroscopy to test predictions that they formed more recently
than the Fornax UCDs.

ACS/WFC 10128

Probing the Formation & Evolution of M31's Outer Disk and Halo, Part

Over the past several years, our group has conducted a large panoramic
ground-based imaging survey of resolved luminous stars in M31 using
the INT Wide-Field Camera. Our now complete survey covers 40 square
degrees around M31, extending to a major axis distance of ~60 kpc.
This survey has led to the discovery of numerous spatial density
and/or colour {metallicity?} variations within the M31 halo and outer
disk, and interim results motivated a successful Cycle 11 HST/ACS
program to obtain deep colour-magnitude diagrams for six regions
exhibiting the most prominent stellar substructure known at that time,
including the giant stellar stream and the clump of stars near the
anomolous cluster, G1. The present proposal requests time to augment
our Cycle 11 program with observations of two new features, a very low
surface brightness fragment lying 3 degrees north-east of center and a
high surface brightness spur of emission in the south-western half of
the galaxy, which we have discovered since 2001. Deep colour-magnitude
diagrams reaching 2-3 magnitudes below the horizontal branch will be
constructed, allowing detailed characterization of the luminous
evolved stellar populations via the red giant metallicity
distribution, the luminous asymptotic giant branch, the horizontal
branch morphology and the red clump, as well as the detection of a
main-sequence that may be present from any younger component. Together
the Cycle 11 and 13 pointings target all prominent stellar
substructure known to exist within 60 kpc of M31.

FGS 10106

An Astrometric Calibration of the Cepheid Period-Luminosity Relation

We propose to measure the parallaxes of 10 Galactic Cepheid variables.
When these parallaxes {with 1-sigma precisions of 10% or better} are
added to our recent HST FGS parallax determination of delta Cep
{Benedict et al 2002}, we anticipate determining the Period-Luminosity
relation zero point with a 0.03 mag precision. In addition to
permitting the test of assumptions that enter into other Cepheid
distance determination techniques, this calibration will reintroduce
Galactic Cepheids as a fundamental step in the extragalactic distance
scale ladder. A Period-Luminosity relation derived from solar
metallicity Cepheids can be applied directly to extragalactic solar
metallicity Cepheids, removing the need to bridge with the Large
Magellanic Cloud and its associated metallicity complications.

WFPC2 10068

WFPC2 CYCLE 12 Standard Darks

This dark calibration program obtains dark frames every week in order
to provide data for the ongoing calibration of the CCD dark current
rate, and to monitor and characterize the evolution of hot pixels.
Over an extended period these data will also provide a monitor of
radiation damage to the CCDs.


Significant Spacecraft Anomalies: (The following are preliminary
reports of potential non-nominal performance that will be
investigated.) None

17282-1 Off-line the +D and -AA SPAs @281/1429z
1272-0 Adjust NICMOS FOM Y-AXIS position limit @285/2354z (HSTAR#9563)


FGS Gsacq 38 38
FGS Reacq 20 20
FHST Update 60 60


SMS SA285O02 began with a seasonal update to the NCS Temperature
setpoints to maintain the NICMOS detectors near 77.15 K temperature.


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