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Daily 3938



 
 
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Old September 6th 05, 04:27 PM
Joe Cooper
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Default Daily 3938

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - Continuing to collect World Class Science

DAILY REPORT # 3938

PERIOD COVERED: UT September 2-5, 2005 (DOY 245-248)

OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED

ACS/SBC 9806

Properties of the Intergalactic Medium near the Epoch of He-II
Reionization

Our STIS spectral snapshot programs have found a rare case of a He-II
Lyman-alpha absorption trough in a z=3.51, V=17.6 quasar. This is the
highest redshift at which this feature has been observed. We propose
to obtain a high-quality STIS spectrum that will enable us to {1}
Investigate the evolution and properties of the intergalactic medium
{IGM} over an epoch between z=2.8 and 3.5; {2} Search for signs of the
reionization of the intergalactic helium; {3} Measure the intensity of
the UV background radiation, and find clues toward its origin; and {4}
Estimate the IGM baryonic density. The instrument has been changed
from STIS to ASC prism.

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.

ACS/WFC 10629

Are Field OB Stars Alone?

This SNAP program offers an inexpensive, simple program to search for
low-mass companions of field OB stars. Do field OB stars exist in true
isolation, as suggested by a recent Galactic study, or are they the
tip of the iceberg on a small cluster of low-mass stars as predicted
by the cluster mass function and stellar IMF? Short ACS/WFC V and I
observations proposed here may easily resolve this issue for field OB
stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Truly isolated OB stars represent
a theoretical challenge and variation from clusters, in mode of star
formation, and have important consequences for our understanding of
the field stellar population in galaxies. Small clusters around the
field OB stars, on the other hand, may confirm the universality of the
stellar clustering law and IMF.

ACS/WFC 10626

A Snapshot Survey of Brightest Cluster Galaxies and Strong Lensing to
z = 0.9

We propose an ACS/WFC snapshot survey of the cores of 150 rich galaxy
clusters at 0.3 z 0.9 from the Red Sequence Cluster Survey {RCS}.
An examination of the galaxian light in the brightest cluster
galaxies, coupled with a statistical analysis of the strong-lensing
properties of the sample, will allow us to contrain the evolution of
both the baryonic and dark mass in cluster cores, over an
unprecedented redshift range and sample size. In detail, we will use
the high- resolution ACS images to measure the metric {10 kpc/h}
luminosity and morphological disturbances around the brightest
clusters galaxies, in order to calibrate their accretion history in
comparison to recent detailed simulations of structure formation in
cluster cores. These images will also yield a well-defined sample of
arcs formed by strong lensing by these clusters; the frequency and
detailed distribution {size, multiplicity, redshifts} of these strong
lens systems sets strong constraints on the total mass content {and
its structure} in the centers of the clusters. These data will also be
invaluable in the study of the morphological evolution and properties
of cluster galaxies over a significant redshift range. These analyses
will be supported by extensive ongoing optical and near-infrared
imaging, and optical spectroscopy at Magellan, VLT and Gemini
telescopes, as well as host of smaller facilities.

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.

ACS/HRC 10609

Sizes, Shapes, and SEDs: Searching for Mass Segregation in the Super
Star Clusters of Nearby Starburst

We propose to investigate mass segregation and star cluster evolution
and dissolution processes in Super Star Cluster {SSC} populations in a
small sample of nearby starburst galaxies. ACS/HRC and NICMOS images
of these nearby {d 10 Mpc} starbursts can reveal evidence for mass
segregation in the form of variations in size, shape, and color of the
SSCs as a function of wavelength. The compactness of the cluster light
profiles, and hence the stellar mass distributions, is a critical
indicator of the likely fate of an SSC: long life and eventual
evolution into a globular-like cluster, or dissolution. These
observations will allow us to generate spectral energy distributions
{SEDs} for a large sample of the SSCs at all ages and extinctions in
each system. We will combine the SEDs with population synthesis models
and existing ground- based spectra and Spitzer images to estimate
ages, reddenings, and masses thus derive a more complete picture of
the star-formation histories of the galaxies. For the brightest and
most likely virialized among the SSCs we will also constrain their
initial mass functions {IMFs} using high- resolution spectroscopy.
Conclusions about IMFs from this technique require detailed
information about the SSC concentration, light profiles, and virial
status, which are only possible via ACS data. The proposed
observations will provide an extensive and comprehensive data set for
a large number of SSCs. By addressing the issues of mass segregation,
evaporation, and destruction of SSC populations, the proposed
observations will provide strong constraints on theories regarding the
processes involved in the formation and evolution of SSCs and globular
clusters. Given the dire predictions for the lifetime of HST, and its
tremendous impact on the study of SSCs, we feel that the proposed
observations not only are necessary and timely {even urgent} but will
also be a fitting { and possibly final} addition to HST's legacy in
the study of starburst SSCs.

ACS/WFC 10592

An ACS Survey of a Complete Sample of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in
the Local Universe

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 enhanced star formation and Active
Galactic Nuclei {AGN} activity, possibly triggered as the objects
transform into massive S0 and elliptical merger remnants. We propose
ACS/WFC imaging of a complete sample of 88 L_IR 10^11.4 L_sun
luminous infrared galaxies in the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample
{RBGS: i.e., 60 micron flux density 5.24 Jy}. This sample is ideal
not only in its completeness and sample size, but also in the
proximity and brightness of the galaxies. The superb sensitivity,
resolution, and field of view of ACS/WFC on HST enables a unique
opportunity to study the detailed structure of galaxies that sample
all stages of the merger process. Imaging will be done with the F439W
and F814W filters {B and I-band} to examine as a function of both
luminosity and merger state {i} the evidence at optical wavelengths of
star formation and AGN activity and the manner in which instabilities
{bars and bridges} in the galaxies may funnel material to these active
regions, {ii} the relationship between star formation and AGN
activity, and {iii} the structural properties {AGN, bulge, and disk
components} and fundamental parameters {effective radius and surface
brightness} of LIRGs and their similarity with putative evolutionary
byproducts {elliptical, S0 and classical AGN host galaxies}. This HST
survey will also bridge the wavelength gap between a Spitzer imaging
survey {covering seven bands in the 3.6-160 micron range} and a GALEX
UV imaging survey of these galaxies, but will resolve complexes of
star clusters and multiple nuclei at resolutions well beyond the
capabilities of either Spitzer or GALEX. The combined datasets will
result in the most comprehensive multiwavelength study of interacting
and merging galaxies to date.

ACS/HRC 10557

Probing Asteroid Families for Evidence of Ultraviolet Space Weathering
Effects

We propose six HST orbits to obtain UV reflectance spectra covering
200-460 nm of two Vesta asteroid family members, asteroid 832 Karin,
and two Karin family members. These observations extend work done
under a Cycle 13 AR grant, where we analyzed all of the existing IUE
and HST S-class asteroids in the MAST database to investigate the
effects of space weathering at UV wavelengths. Our hypothesis is that
the manifestation of space weathering at UV wavelengths is a spectral
bluing, in contrast with a spectral reddening at visible-NIR
wavelengths, and that UV wavelengths can be more sensitive to
relatively small amounts of weathering than longer wavelengths. The
proposed observations will address two objectives: {1} Measure the
UV-visible spectra of 832 Karin and two members of the young Karin
family {absolute age of 5.8 My}, in order to determine whether
intermediate space weathering is observable in objects likely pristine
when they originated from the interior of Karin's pa rent body. {2}
Measure the UV-visible spectra of two members of the Vesta family to
compare with our analysis of IUE Vesta spectra. These observations
will probe Vesta's interior, and test our hypothesis by contrasting
the apparent amount of alteration on the surfaces of Vestoids with
excavated material on Vesta.

ACS/HRC 10547

A SNAP Program to Obtain Complete Wavelength Coverage of Interstellar
Extinction

We propose a SNAP program to obtain ACS/HRC spectra in the near-UV
{PR200L} and near-IR {G800L} for a set of main sequence B stars with
available IUE UV spectrophotometry, optical photometry, and 2MASS IR
photometry. Together with these existing data, the new observations
will provide complete photometric and spectrophotometric coverage from
1150 to 11000 A and enable us to produce complete extinction curves
from the far-UV to the near-IR, with well- determined values of R{V}.
The proposed set of 50 program sight lines includes the full range of
interstellar extinction curve types and a wide range of color
excesses. The new data will allow us to examine variability in the
near-UV through near-IR spectral regions, including the UV-optical
"knee" and the "Very Broad Structure." We will examine the response of
these features to different interstellar environments and their
relationship to other curve features. These are largely unexplored
aspects of extinction curves which will provide additional constraints
on the properties of interstellar grains. The curves will be derived
using stellar atmosphere models to represent the intrinsic spectral
energy distributions of the program stars, eliminating the need to
observe unreddened "standard stars." This approach virtually
eliminates "mismatch error", allowing us to derive extinction curves
with much higher precision than previously possible. In addition, the
new spectra will provide higher S/N data for the peak of the 2175 A
bump than previously available.

WFPC2 10534

Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune

We propose Snapshot observations of Uranus and Neptune to monitor
changes in their atmospheres on time scales of weeks, months, and
years. Uranus is rapidly approaching equinox in 2007, with another 4
degrees of latitude becoming visible every year. Recent HST
observations during this epoch {including 6818: Hammel, Lockwood, and
Rages; 8680: Hammel, Rages, Lockwood, and Marley; 8634: Rages, Hammel,
Lockwood, Marley, and McKay; and 10170: Rages, Hammel, Lockwood, and
Marley} have revealed strongly wavelength-dependent latitudinal
structure and the presence of numerous visible-wavelength cloud
features in the northern hemisphere. Long-term ground-based
observations {Lockwood and Thompson 1999} show seasonal brightness
changes whose origins are not well understood. Recent near-IR images
of Neptune obtained using adaptive optics on the Keck Telesccope
together with images from our Cycle 9 Snapshot program {8634} show a
general increase in activity at south temperate latitudes as well as
the possible development of another Great Dark Spot. Further Snapshot
observations of these two dynamic planets will elucidate the nature of
long-term changes in their zonal atmospheric bands and clarify the
processes of formation, evolution, and dissipation of discrete albedo
features.

ACS/WFC/NIC3/WFPC2 10530

Probing Evolution And Reionization Spectroscopically {PEARS}

While imaging with HST has gone deep enough to probe the highest
redshifts, e.g. the GOODS survey and the Ultra Deep Field,
spectroscopic identifications have not kept up. We propose an ACS
grism survey to get slitless spectra of all sources in a wide survey
region {8 ACS fields} up to z =27.0 magnitude, and an ultradeep field
in the HUDF reaching sources up to z =28 magnitude. The PEARS survey
will: {1} Find and spectrocopically confirm all galaxies between
z=4-7. {2} Probe the reionization epoch by robustly determining the
luminosity function of galaxies and low luminosity AGNs at z = 4 - 6.
With known redshifts, we can get a local measure of star formation and
ionization rate in case reionization is inhomogeneous. {3} Study
galaxy formation and evolution by finding galaxies in a contiguous
redshift range between 4 z 7, and black hole evolution through a
census of low-luminosity AGNs. {4} Get a robust census of galaxies
with old stellar populations at 1 z 2.5, invaluable for checking
consistency with heirarchical models of galaxy formation. Fitting
these galaxies' spectra will yield age and metallicity estimates. {5}
Study star-formation and galaxy assembly at its peak at 1 z 2 by
identifying emission lines in star-forming galaxies, old populations
showing the 4000A break, and any combination of the two. {6} Constrain
faint white dwarfs in the Galactic halo and thus measure their
contribution to the dark matter halo. {7} Derive spectro-photometric
redshifts by using the grism spectra along with broadband data. This
will be the deepest unbiased spectroscopy yet, and will enhance the
value of the multiwavelength data in UDF and the GOODS fields to the
astronomical community. To this end we will deliver reduced spectra to
the HST archives.

ACS/WFC 10523

The Halo Shape and Metallicity of Massive Spiral Galaxies

We propose to resolve the stellar populations of the halos of seven
nearby, massive disk galaxies using a SNAP survey with WFC/ACS. These
observations will provide star counts and color-magnitude diagrams 2-3
magnitudes below the tip of the Red Giant Branch 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 ~31 V-mag per square arcsec. This proposal
will create a unique sampling of galaxy halo properties, as our
targets cover a range in galaxy mass, luminosity, inclination, and
morphology. As function of these galaxy properties this survey will
provide:- the first systematic measurement of radial light profiles
and axial ratios of the diffuse stellar halos and outer disks of
spiral galaxies- a comprehensive analysis of halo metallicity
distributions as function of galaxy type and position within the
galaxy- an unprecedented study of the stellar metallicity and age
distribution in the outer disk regions where the disk truncations
occur- the first comparative study of globular clusters and their
field stellar populations We will use these fossil records of the
galaxy assembly process to test halo formation models within the
hierarchical galaxy formation scheme.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10514

Kuiper Belt Binaries: Probes of Early Solar System Evolution

Binaries in the Kuiper Belt are a scientific windfall: in them we have
relatively fragile test particles which can be used as tracers of the
early dynamical evolution of the outer Solar System. We propose a
Snapshot program using the ACS/HRC that has a potential discovery
efficiency an order of magnitude higher than the HST observations that
have already discovered the majority of known transneptunian binaries.
By more than doubling the number of observed objects in dynamically
hot and cold subpopulations we will be able to answer, with
statistical significance, the question of whether these groups differ
in the abundance of binaries as a result of their particular dynamical
paths into the Kuiper Belt. Today's Kuiper Belt bears the imprints of
the final stages of giant-planet building and migration; binaries may
offer some of the best preserved evidence of that long-ago era.

ACS/HRC 10508

Orbits, Masses, and Densities of Three Transneptunian Binaries

The subset of transneptunian objects {TNOs} having natural satellites
offers unique opportunities for physical studies of these distant
relics from the outer parts of the protoplanetary nebula. HST/ACS is
ideally suited to determining orbits of TNO satellites, resulting in
the system masses. In conjunction with thermal emission observations
by Spitzer, which provides sizes, we can determine the densities of
TNOs. Densities offer a powerful window into their bulk compositions
and interior structures.

ACS/WFC 10497

Cepheid Calibrations of the Luminosity of Two Reliable Type Ia
Supernovae and a Re- determination of the Hubble Constant

We propose to determine the luminosity of two type Ia supernovae {SNe
Ia}, 1995al in NGC 3021 and SN 2002fk in NGC 1309, by observing
Cepheids in their spiral hosts. Modern CCD photometry yields an
extremely tight Hubble diagram for SNe Ia with a precisely determined
intercept {i.e., Delta H_0/H_0}. Yet, the measurement of the true
Hubble constant via SNe Ia is limited by the calibration derived from
problematic and unreliable SN data. Most of the SNe Ia calibrated by
HST to date are significantly compromised by the systematics of
photographic photometry, high reddening and SN peculiarity, and by the
photometric anomolies associated with WFPC2. The extended reach of ACS
now provides opportunities to more reliably calibrate SNe Ia and H_0.
Our Cepheid calibration of a reliable SN Ia dataset, SN 1994ae, using
ACS in Cycle 11 resulted in a 15% increase in H_0 from the value
derived by the HST SN Ia Calibration Program. Yet, there remains a
terribly small sample of reliable SN Ia data sets on which to base
such a crucial cosmological result. SN 1995al and SN 2002fk are two of
the best observed SNe Ia both with little reddening. They provide two
opportunities to use ACS for placing the calibration of H_0 via SN Ia
on firmer footing and potentially improve its precision.

ACS/WFC 10491

A Snapshot Survey of the most massive clusters of galaxies

We propose a snapshot survey of a sample of 124 high X-ray luminosity
clusters in the redshift range 0.3-0.7. Similarly luminous clusters at
these redshifts frequently exhibit strong gravitational lensing. The
proposed observations will provide important constraints on the nature
of the cluster mass distributions and a set of optically bright,
lensed galaxies for further 8-10m spectroscopy. We acknowledge the
broad community interest in this sample and waive our data rights for
these observations.

ACS/HRC/WFC 10389

ACS CCDs daily monitor - Cycle 13 - Part 2

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 program will be
for the entire lifetime of ACS.

ACS/HRC 10377

ACS Earth Flats

High signal sky flats will be obtained by observing the bright Earth
with the HRC and WFC. These observations will be used to verify the
accuracy of the flats currently used by the pipeline and will provide
a comparison with flats derived via other techniques: L-flats from
stellar observations, sky flats from stacked GO observations, and
internal flats using the calibration lamps. Weekly coronagraphic
monitoring is required to assess the changing position of the spots.

WFPC2 10359

WFPC2 CYCLE 13 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.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS SUMMARY:

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

HSTARS:

9934 - GSAcq (1,2,1) failed due to search radius limit exceeded @
246/0400z OBAD #1 Vehicle Axis Errors (arcsec): V1=-2010.77,
V2-1418.87, V3=669.89, 3-axis (RSS) value=2250.53 OBAD #2 Vehicle Axix
Errors (arcsec): V1=0.00, V2=-7.08. V3=-0.20, 3-axis (RSS) vaule=7.08

COMPLETED OPS NOTES: (None)

COMPLETED OPS REQUEST: (None)

SCHEDULED SUCCESSFUL FAILURE TIMES
FGS
Gsacq 36 35 246/0400z
HSTAR 9934
FGS Reacq 19 19
OBAD with Maneuver 110 110


SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: (None)


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