This week on HST


HST Programs: November 2 - November 8, 2009


Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title Links
11202 Leon Koopmans, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute The Structure of Early-type Galaxies: 0.1-100 Effective Radii Abstract
11520 James Green, University of Colorado COS-GTO: QSO Absorbers, Galaxies and Large-scale Structures in the Local Universe Abstract
11528 James Green, University of Colorado COS-GTO: Studies of the HeII Reionization Epoch Abstract
11548 S. Thomas Megeath, University of Toledo NICMOS Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation Abstract
11563 Garth Illingworth, University of California, Santa Cruz Galaxies at z~7-10 in the Reionization Epoch: Luminosity Functions to <0.2L* from Deep IR Imaging of the HUDF and HUDF05 Fields Abstract
11572 David Kent Sing, CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Characterizing Atmospheric Sodium in the Transiting hot-Jupiter HD189733b Abstract
11588 Raphael Gavazzi, CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Galaxy-Scale Strong Lenses from the CFHTLS survey Abstract
11589 Oleg Y. Gnedin, University of Michigan Hypervelocity Stars as Unique Probes of the Galactic Center and Outer Halo Abstract
11594 John M. O'Meara, Saint Michaels College A WFC3 Grism Survey for Lyman limit absorption at z=2 Abstract
11604 David Axon, Rochester Institute of Technology The Nuclear Structure of OH Megamaser Galaxies Abstract
11644 Michael E. Brown, California Institute of Technology A dynamical-compositional survey of the Kuiper belt: a new window into the formation of the outer solar system Abstract
11657 Letizia Stanghellini, National Optical Astronomy Observatories The population of compact planetary nebulae in the Galactic Disk Abstract
11666 Adam J. Burgasser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chilly Pairs: A Search for the Latest-type Brown Dwarf Binaries and the Prototype Y Dwarf Abstract
11670 Peter Garnavich, University of Notre Dame The Host Environments of Type Ia Supernovae in the SDSS Survey Abstract
11714 Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute Snapshot Survey for Planetary Nebulae in Local Group Globular Clusters Abstract
11719 Julianne Dalcanton, University of Washington A Calibration Database for Stellar Models of Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars Abstract
11782 Oleg Y. Gnedin, University of Michigan Measuring the Shape and Orientation of the Galactic Dark-Matter Halo using Hypervelocity Stars Abstract
11788 George Fritz Benedict, University of Texas at Austin The Architecture of Exoplanetary Systems Abstract
11789 George Fritz Benedict, University of Texas at Austin An Astrometric Calibration of Population II Distance Indicators Abstract
11999 John Wisniewski, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center JWST Calibration from a Consistent Absolute Calibration of Spitzer & Hubble Abstract
12045 Heidi Hammel, Space Science Institute Evolution of the 2009 Single Impact on Jupiter Abstract

Selected highlights

GO 11563: Galaxies at z~7-10 in the Reionization Epoch: Luminosity Functions to <0.2L* from Deep IR Imaging of the HUDF and HUDF05 Fields

The ACS optical/far-red image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Galaxy evolution in the early Universe is a discipline of astronomy that has been transformed by observations with the Hubble Space Telescope. The original Hubble Deep Field, the product of 10 days observation in December 1995 of a single pointing of Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, demonstrated conclusively that galaxy formation was a far from passive process. The images revealed numerous blue disturbed and irregular systems, characteristic of star formation in galaxy collisions and mergers. Building on this initial progam, the Hubble Deep Field South (HDFS) provided matching data for a second southern field, allowing a first assessment of likely effects due to field to field cosmic variance, and the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (UDF) probed to even fainter magitude with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The highest redshift objects found in the UDF have redshifts approaching z~7. Pushing to larger distances, and greater ages, demands observatons at near-infrared wavelengths, as the characteristics signatures of star formation are driven further redward in the spectrum. The present program aims to extend observations beyond z~8 to z+9 or even 10 by using the WFC3-IR camera to obtain deep F850LP (Y), F105W (J) and F160W (H) images centred on the UDF and two flanking fields. Parallel observations with ACS will be used to extend the visible and red iamging data to even fainter magitudes.

GO 11670: The Host Environments of Type Ia Supernovae in the SDSS Survey

SN 2007uy and 2008D in NGC 2770 Supernovae have long attracted the attention of both amateur and professional astronomers as a means of studying the violent eruption and death of massive stars and degenerates. However, in the last decade they have also acquired considerable importance as distance indicators, tracing the expansion of the universe to redshifts well beyond the reach of more conventional yardsticks, such as cepheids, and providing a key underpinning for the hypothesised existcen of dark energy. Understanding the supernovae themselves, and, in particular, their progenitors, is key to accurately interpreting their luminosities and distances. The present program aims to tackle that aspect of the problem by using ACS to obtain deep, high resolution images of galaxies that have harboured recent type Ia supernovae. The targets are all drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has uncovered more than than 500 type Ia supernovae,. The supernovae themselves are long gone from view, but the ACS data will be used to probe the stellar populations in the immediate vicinity of the explosion, and hence gain a better understanding of the likely progenitor.

GO 12045: Evolution of the 2009 Single Impact on Jupiter

HST WFC3 observations of the comet scar on Jupiter One of HST's most cited set of observations was the series of images taken in July 1994 as the dishevelled remnants of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter. That event highlighted the catastrophic consequences of cosmic impacts, and sparked considerable interest in identifying earth-crossing asteroids and comets. Fifteen years later, on 19 July 2009, an Australian amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley, noticed a strange dark 'scar" near Jupiter's southern pole. The feature was quickly confirmed by other astronomers, both amateur and professional, and was quickly judged as likely to be the result of another, completely unexpected, cometary impact. The SL9 impact was thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime (if not more) event; clearly, the impact rate is higher than previously suspected. At the time of the new event, HST was deeply immersed in the initial on-orbit instrument performance tests, but the science staff were able to interrupt those procedures for a few orbits to obtain images with Wide-Field Camera 3. Further observations were obtained in the following weeks to track the evolution of the feature, as Jovian winds disperse the detritus through the atmosphere. The present observation, also with WFC3, will track the final stages of the dispersal, as the scar fades from view in the atmosphere.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 23/10/2009