NASA Hubble Space Telescope Daily Report #4303

Status Report From: Space Telescope Science Institute
Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2007



- Continuing to collect World Class Science

PERIOD COVERED: UT February 20, 2007 (DOY 051)


ACS/SBC 10862

Comprehensive Auroral Imaging of Jupiter and Saturn during the International Heliophysical Year

A comprehensive set of observations of the auroral emissions from Jupiter and Saturn is proposed for the International Heliophysical Year in 2007, a unique period of especially concentrated measurements of space physics phenomena throughout the solar system. We propose to determine the physical relationship of the various auroral processes at Jupiter and Saturn with conditions in the solar wind at each planet. This can be accomplished with campaigns of observations, with a sampling interval not to exceed one day, covering at least one solar rotation. The solar wind plasma density approaching Jupiter will be measured by the New Horizons spacecraft, and a separate campaign near opposition in May 2007 will determine the effect of large-scale variations in the interplanetary magnetic field {IMF} on the Jovian aurora by extrapolation from near-Earth solar wind measurements. A similar Saturn campaign near opposition in Jan. 2007 will combine extrapolated solar wind data with measurements from a wide range of locations within the Saturn magnetosphere by Cassini. In the course of making these observations, it will be possible to fully map the auroral footprints of Io and the other satellites to determine both the local magnetic field geometry and the controlling factors in the electromagnetic interaction of each satellite with the corotating magnetic field and plasma density. Also in the course of making these observations, the auroral emission properties will be compared with the properties of the near-IR ionospheric emissions {from ground-based observations} and non thermal radio emissions, from ground-based observations for Jupiter?s decametric radiation and Cassini plasma wave measurements of the Saturn Kilometric Radiation {SKR}.

ACS/SBC 11048

SBC MAMA Recovery

Procedure to be used when ACS MAMA anomalously shuts down. Recovery procedure is designed to carefully bring the MAMA back to operating condition while watching for possible problems. The final step is to do a fold analysis which gives detailed information about how well the instrument is performing. Only the first four visits are to be executed. Visits 5 to 7 whih are a repaeat of 1 to 4 are to be kept on hold.

NIC1 10879

A search for planetary-mass companions to the nearest L dwarfs - completing the survey

We propose to extend the most sensitive survey yet undertaken for very low-mass companions to ultracool dwarfs. We will use NICMOS to complete imaging of an all-sky sample of 87 L dwarfs in 80 systems within 20 parsecs of the Sun. The combination of infrared imaging and proximity allows us to search for companions with mass ratios q>0.25 at separations exceeding ~3 AU, while probing companions with q>0.5 at ~1.5 AU separation. This resolution is crucial, since no ultracool binaries are known in the field with separations exceeding 15 AU. Fifty L dwarfs from the 20-parsec sample have high- resolution imaging, primarily through our Cycle 13 HST proposal which identified six new binaries, including an L/T system. Here, we propose to target the remaining 30 dwarfs

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 11060

NICMOS Photometric Stability Monitoring

This NICMOS calibration proposal carries out photometric monitoring observations during Cycle 15. The format is the same as the Cycle 14 version of the program {10725}, but a few modifications were made with respect to the Cycle 12 program 9995 and Cycle 13 program 10381. Provisions had to be made to adopt to 2-gyro mode {G191B2B was added as extra target to provide target visibility through most of the year}. Where before 4 or 7 dithers were made in a filter before we moved to the next filter, now we observe all filters at one position before moving to the next dither position. While the previous method was chosen to minimize the effect of persistence, we now realize that persistence may be connected to charge trapping and by moving through the filter such that the count rate increases, we reach equilibrium more quickly between charge being trapped and released. We have also increased exposure times where possible to reduce the charge trapping non- linearity effects.

NIC1/NIC2/NIC3 8794

NICMOS Post-SAA calibration - CR Persistence Part 5

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.

NIC2, ACS/WFC 10802

SHOES-Supernovae, HO, for the Equation of State of Dark energy

The present uncertainty in the value of the Hubble constant {resulting in an uncertainty in Omega_M} and the paucity of Type Ia supernovae at redshifts exceeding 1 are now the leading obstacles to determining the nature of dark energy. We propose a single, integrated set of observations for Cycle 15 that will provide a 40% improvement in constraints on dark energy. This program will observe known Cepheids in six reliable hosts of Type Ia supernovae with NICMOS, reducing the uncertainty in H_0 by a factor of two because of the smaller dispersion along the instability strip, the diminished extinction, and the weaker metallicity dependence in the infrared. In parallel with ACS, at the same time the NICMOS observations are underway, we will discover and follow a sample of Type Ia supernovae at z > 1. Together, these measurements, along with prior constraints from WMAP, will provide a great improvement in HST's ability to distinguish between a static, cosmological constant and dynamical dark energy. The Hubble Space Telescope is the only instrument in the world that can make these IR measurements of Cepheids beyond the Local Group, and it is the only telescope in the world that can be used to find and follow supernovae at z > 1. Our program exploits both of these unique capabilities of HST to learn more about one of the greatest mysteries in science.

NIC3 10899

Identifying z>7 galaxies from J-dropouts

NICMOS Parallel Imaging campaigns covered enough sky {250 pointings} with enough sensitivity in the 110W and 160W filters to identify 6 extremely red resolved sources which are prime candidates for J-band dropouts. Their complete absence of detectable J band flux can be caused by an opaque Lyman cut-off at z=8-10. We propose to followup these candidates with NICMOS imaging and jointly propose Spitzer IRAC photometry. Deep F110W and Spitzer/IRAC 3.5/4.8 micron imaging will confirm if any of these candidates are indeed Lyman Break galaxies observed less than 500 Myrs after the Big Bang. Genuine LBGs will remain undetected in F110W, while being detected with flat spectra in the IRAC bands. The combined SED will provide information about the stellar mass of these galaxies, and the possible presence of evolved stars or dust reddening. The proposed observations will be sensitive enough to detect the F110W flux from galaxies as red as {J- H}=2.8 {AB mags, 5 sigma}. If any of the candidates are detected with bluer colors, they will most likely be exceptional "Distant Red Galaxies" at z of 4 to 6. The proposed data will constrain the stellar populations of these extraordinarily red galaxies, which would be candidates for the earliest, most massive galaxies which formed.

WFPC2 10871

Observations of the Galilean Satellites in Support of the New Horizons Flyby

On February 28 2007 the New Horizons {NH} spacecraft will fly by Jupiter on its way to Pluto, and will conduct an extensive series of observations of the Jupiter system, including the Galilean satellites. We propose HST observations to support and complement the New Horizons observations in four ways: 1} Determine the distribution and variability of Io's plumes in the two weeks before NH closest approach, to look for correlations with Io- derived dust streams that may be detected by New Horizons, to understand the origin of the dust streams; 2} Imaging of SO2 and S2 gas absorption in Io's plumes in Jupiter transit, which cannot be done by NH; 3} Color imaging of Io's surface to determine the effects of the plumes and volcanos seen by New Horizons on the surface- New Horizons cannot image the sunlit surface in color due to saturation; 4} Imaging of far-UV auroral emissions from the atmospheres of Io, Europa, and Ganymede in Jupiter eclipse, near- simultaneously with disk-integrated NH UV spectra, to locate the source of the UV emissions seen by NH and use the response of the satellite atmospheres to the eclipse to constrain production mechanisms.

WFPC2 11029

WFPC2 CYCLE 15 Intflat Linearity Check and Filter Rotation Anomaly Monitor

Intflat observations will be taken to provide a linearity check: the linearity test consists of a series of intflats in F555W, in each gain and each shutter. A combination of intflats, visflats, and earthflats will be used to check the repeatability of filter wheel motions. {Intflat sequences tied to decons, visits 1-18 in prop 10363, have been moved to the cycle 15 decon proposal xxxx for easier scheduling.} Note: long-exposure WFPC2 intflats must be scheduled during ACS anneals to prevent stray light from the WFPC2 lamps from contaminating long ACS external exposures.

WFPC2 11092

Hubble Heritage Observations of Arp 87

The Hubble Heritage team will use a single pointing of WFPC2 to obtain F450W, F555W, F656N, and F814W images of Arp 87 as part of a public release image.


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


10703 - GSAcq (1,2,2) failed due to Search Radius Limit Exceeded on FGS 2

At 051/10:12:54 GSAcq (1,2,2) scheduled from 051/10:09:22-10:16:41 failed due to search radius limit exceeded on FGS 2. Received one (1) 486 ESB 1808 (TxG FHST Sanity Check Failed) and one (1) a05 (Exceeded SRL).

OBAD #1 RSS: 1422.72 a-s

OBAD #2 RSS: 7.12 a-s

OBAD MAP RSS: 16.08 a-s

10704 - REAcqs(1,2,2) failed to RGA Hold (Gyro Control) Upon acquisition of signal, the REAcq(1,2,2) scheduled at 051/11:43:48 had failed to RGA Hold due to search radius limit exceeded on FGS2. Pre-reacq OBADs (RSS) values not available due to LOS.



FGS GSacq        09         08        
FGS REacq        05         03        
OBAD with Maneuver 27         27         


Flash Report: SBC - preliminary results

The first SBC images (science and calibration) were acquired today (Day 051). All the telemetry indicates normal conditions. The first internal flats and dark frames are consistent with those pre-dating the ACS Side 2 failure. There may be a small degradation in sensitivity (on the order of 1% or less at the shortest wavelengths). More sensitivity data will be acquired in the coming week.

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

SpaceRef Newsletter