|Space Telescope Science Institute|
|HST CP and Primer for Cycle 23|
Cycle 22 observations will end on September 30, 2015, and Cycle 23 will extend from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. We will accept proposals for the following instruments: ACS, COS, FGS, STIS, and WFC3.
Proposers to Cycle 23 should be aware that the instrument complement offered is subject to change. Please consult the Cycle 23 Announcement webpage for up-to-date information on the status of HST instrumentation.
• COS Lifetime Position. During Cycle 22 COS FUV spectra will be moved from the second COS Lifetime Position (LP2) to the third (LP3) in order to ameliorate the continuing effects of gain sag. While the exact change in performance is not yet known, it is anticipated that the typical spectral resolution (λ/Δλ) may decline by about 15%. Depending on the details of the LP3 implementation, it is possible that the resolution decline for the COS FUV G140L grating may be somewhat larger. Changes in the instrument performance at LP3 will be fully characterized over the Winter 2014/Spring 2015. Changes in the COS extraction and calibration pipeline required by the change to LP3 will result in poorly calibrated FUV observations of extended sources, and FUV observations made with the BOA apertures. Beginning Cycle 23, FUV observations of extended sources, and those with BOA apertures, will be offered as "Available-but-Unsupported". Observers should consult the most recent COS-related newsletters and documentation available on the COS website while preparing their Phase I.
• New STIS Supported Apertures for STIS MAMA Spectroscopy. STIS has three newly supported neutral-density filtered slits for use with the first-order, and echelle observations. These three apertures, 31X0.05NDA, 31X0.05NDB, and 31X0.05NDC, provide attenuation factors of 6X, 14X, and 33X, respectively. See the STIS Instrument Handbook, Section 13.4 for more information on the basic properties of these apertures.
• Version 1 of the Hubble Source Catalog (HSC) is scheduled for release in February, 2015. The HSC combines tens of thousands of single visit-based WFC3, ACS, and WFPC2 source lists from the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA) into a single master catalog with roughly 100 million individual sources, hence providing entry into the field of database astronomy. Searches that would require months or years to perform in the past can, in many cases, be done in seconds with the HSC. This resource may be used to support a wide range of new archival proposals, a few potential examples are listed in Section 7.4 of the HST Primer (e.g., variability over more than a 20 year lifetime in many cases, astrometry with better than 10 milli-arcsecond accuracy, cross-matching with a wide variety of catalogs). Currently, a Beta 0.3 version of the HSC is available to support exploratory projects.
• The budget categories for Regular Archival proposals (including Theory and Calibration) are no longer required, removing the Small and Medium categories used for planning purposes in previous cycles. See Section 3.4 for further details. Proposers should still provide a Management plan as described in Section 9.7.
• Medium Proposals (those requesting between 35 and 74 orbits) are being continued as a separate proposal category (see Section 3.2.2). General Observer (GO) Proposals are classified as Small (1-34 orbits), Medium (35-74 orbits) or Large (75 or more orbits) based on orbit request. Medium Proposals are reviewed by the panels and ranked together with the Small Proposals. Those making the cut proceed to the TAC where a separate orbit pool is available for them. This pool is nominally 600 orbits in size, although the TAC has the ability to decrease or increase this number in order to balance the pressure between Medium and Large Proposals.
• The Ultraviolet (UV) Initiative introduced in Cycle 21 will continue in Cycle 23. This initiative is designed to take full advantage of the unique UV capabilities of Hubble while they still exist. It uses orbit allocation targets to increase the share of primary GO observing time dedicated to UV observations (central wavelengths < 3200 Angstroms). Small (Section 3.2.1), Medium (Section 3.2.2), Large (Section 3.2.3), and Treasury (Section 3.2.6) GO Proposals are all eligible, but SNAP Proposals are not. The available UV instrument modes include ACS/SBC imaging, COS spectroscopy, STIS/MAMA imaging and spectroscopy, STIS/CCD spectroscopy (UV gratings only) and WFC3/UVIS imaging (UV filters only; this does not include F336W, the U-band filter). More details are given in Section 6.3.
• The UV Initiative also extends to Archival (AR) Proposals, in the Regular AR (Section 3.4.1), Legacy AR (Section 3.4.2), and Theory (Section 3.4.4) categories. STScI will ask the review panels and the TAC to give particular consideration to UV-specific AR Proposals in the review process. More details are given in Section 6.3.
• The STScI Director has devoted a significant fraction of his discretionary time in Cycles 21 and 22 to the Frontier Fields Program. This involves deep imaging observations of four moderate-redshift galaxy clusters and offset blank fields using ACS and WFC3 operating in parallel. Following a favorable mid-term review, the Director has decided to proceed with observations of the final two clusters, Abell S1063 and Abell 370, in Cycle 23. Full details are provided on the Frontier Fields website. Data taken for the Frontier Fields Program have no proprietary period, and the community is encouraged to submit AR Proposals, Theory Proposals, and supplementary GO Proposals for the scientific exploitation of these data for all six clusters.
• Joint HST-NRAO Proposals will continue in Cycle 23, allowing proposers to request time on both HST and NRAO facilities in a single proposal. For a joint HST-NRAO proposal to be successful, the project must be fundamentally of a multi-wavelength nature and must require all proposed observations to meet the science goals. Proposers should take special care to justify both the scientific and technical reasons for all observations included in their joint proposal. Proposers must always check whether appropriate archival data exist, and provide clear scientific and technical justification for any new observations of previously observed targets. Further details are given in Section 3.9.
• Joint HST-Spitzer Proposals: Up to 60 hours of time on the Spitzer Space Telescope may be awarded to joint HST-Spitzer Programs in this cycle (see Section 3.6). Proposed projects must be of a fundamentally multi-wavelength nature, and both HST and Spitzer observations must be required to meet the science goals. Proposers may request up to 20 hours of Spitzer Cycle 12 time in any one HST proposal.
• In addition to the joint HST-NRAO and HST-Spitzer Proposals mentioned above, it is possible to request observing time on Chandra (Section 3.5), XMM-Newton (Section 3.7), and NOAO telescopes (Section 3.8) as part of a proposal for HST observations.
• The MAST Data Discovery Portal was released in November 2013 at http://mast.stsci.edu/explore. The Discovery Portal is a one-stop Web interface to access data from all of MAST’s supported missions, including HST, Kepler, GALEX, FUSE, IUE, EUVE, and Swift-UVOT. In addition to data at MAST, users can search for data available through the Virtual Observatory (VO), either by providing a resolvable target name or coordinate, or by using the “Search the VO” button for a given MAST data product. The VO gives Portal users access to data spanning the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to high energy, including images, spectra, catalogs, and NASA ADS records.
• We remind users that an extensive catalog of High-Level Science Products (HLSPs) is hosted on the MAST archive HLSP webpage, including imaging and spectroscopic atlases of many classes of astronomical object. HLSPs are community-contributed, fully-processed images and spectra that are ready for scientific analysis. The HLSP catalog is a useful resource for preparing new proposals. In addition, agreeing to provide new HLSPs back to MAST can increase a proposal’s scientific value and hence its chance of success (this is a requirement for Treasury GO and Legacy AR Proposals).
• We remind users that a set of imaging and spectroscopic tools is incorporated into MAST for quick-look analysis of existing HST data. The spectroscopic tools allow flux-calibrated spectra from multiple HST instruments to be displayed simultaneously, and provide a useful resource for duplication checking and exposure time calculations for new observing proposals.
• As detailed in Section 10.12, NASA has the “first right of refusal” for all Hubble news releases. STScI Public Outreach news officers should be made aware of potentially newsworthy science results before the acceptance of HST publications. Proposers are reminded that STScI and NASA can provide considerable resources to support the creation and distribution of press releases.
• Large GO Proposals must use the shorter orbital visibility values from Table 6.1 of the HST Primer, which will be enforced for any of these programs approved for Phase II.
• HST data can be searched and obtained through the MAST Portal (http://archive.stsci.edu), the MAST Classic HST Search Form, and through the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). Proprietary data can only be retrieved by authorized users via the MAST Portal and MAST Classic search forms. The outline of these proprietary observations can be displayed via the Footprints tool in the MAST Portal and the HLA. For public data, the HLA offers a graphical search interface, image and spectral preview capabilities, mosaic combinations, enhanced data products, as well as source lists for ACS, WFPC2, and WFC3 observations.