This week on HST

HST Programs: January 18, 2010 - January 24, 2010

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title Links
11142 Lin Yan, California Institute of Technology Revealing the Physical Nature of Infrared Luminous Galaxies at 0.3 Abstract
11153 Sangeeta Malhotra, Arizona State University The Physical Nature and Age of Lyman Alpha Galaxies Abstract
11189 Nial R. Tanvir, University of Leicester Probing the early universe with GRBs Abstract
11205 James Muzerolle, University of Arizona The Effects of Multiplicity on the Evolution of Young Stellar Objects: A NICMOS Imaging Study Abstract
11235 Jason A. Surace, California Institute of Technology HST NICMOS Survey of the Nuclear Regions of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local Universe 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 Charaterizing Atmospheric Sodium in the Transiting hot-Jupiter HD189733b Abstract
11568 Seth Redfield, Wesleyan University A SNAPSHOT Survey of the Local Interstellar Medium: New NUV Observations of Stars with Archived FUV Observations Abstract
11569 Seth Redfield, Wesleyan University Probing the Atomic and Molecular Inventory of a Beta-Pic Analog, the Young, Edge-On Debris Disk of HD32297 Abstract
11570 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University & Space Telescope Science Institute Narrowing in on the Hubble Constant and Dark Energy Abstract
11577 Brad C. Whitmore, Space Telescope Science Institute Opening New Windows on the Antennae with WFC3 Abstract
11599 Richard A. Wade, The Pennsylvania State University Distances of Planetary Nebulae from SNAPshots of Resolved Companions Abstract
11606 Dan Batcheldor, Rochester Institute of Technology Dynamical Hypermassive Black Hole Masses Abstract
11613 Roelof S. de Jong, Astrophys. Inst. Potsdam GHOSTS: Stellar Outskirts of Massive Spiral Galaxies Abstract
11616 Gregory J. Herczeg, California Institute of Technology The Disks, Accretion, and Outflows (DAO) of T Tau stars Abstract
11628 Eva Noyola, Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik Globular Cluster Candidates for Hosting a Central Black Hole Abstract
11631 Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute Binary brown dwarfs and the L/T transition 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
11674 Holly Lynn Maness, University of California - Berkeley A STIS NUV Search for Shocked-Interstellar and Circumstellar Gas towards the Debris Disk System, HD 61005 Abstract
11677 Harvey B. Richer, University of British Columbia Is 47 Tuc Young? Measuring its White Dwarf Cooling Age and Completing a Hubble Legacy Abstract
11694 David R. Law, California Institute of Technology Mapping the Interaction between High-Redshift Galaxies and the Intergalactic Environment Abstract
11724 Marla C. Geha, Yale University Direct Age Determination of the Local Group dE Galaxies NGC 147 and NGC 185 Abstract
11737 David M. Meyer, Northwestern University The Distance Dependence of the Interstellar N/O Abundance Ratio: A Gould Belt Influence? Abstract
11803 Holland Ford, The Johns Hopkins University Observing Cluster Assembly Around the Massive Cluster RXJ0152-13 Abstract
11833 Michael R. Garcia, Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory Monitoring M31 for BHXNe Abstract
11839 Thomas R. Ayres, University of Colorado at Boulder The Cycles of Alpha Centauri Abstract

Selected highlights

GO 11153: The Physical Nature and Age of Lyman Alpha Galaxies

Composite optical/X-ray/IR imaging of a high-redshift Lyman-alpha blob Simple galaxy formation models envisage a period of extensive star formation at the earliest epochs. That activity is likely to be accompanied by substantial Lyman alpha emission, generated by ionising photons from short-lived, high-mass stars. The degree of such activity, however, and its duration remain matters of some conjecture, which can be addressed through deep, high resolution investigations of the underlying morphology of high-redshfit Lyman-alpha emitters. The higher angular resolution and increased sensitivity of HST offer significant advantages in characterising these systems. The present proposal is using HST to obtain follow-up F110W/F160W (J/H) images of 35 spectroscopically confirmed 4.5 < z < 6.5 Ly-alpha emitters. Initial observations were with NICMOS, and the progrma has moved to using WFC3 following SM4. These systems also have mid-IR data, taken using the IRAC camera on Spitzer. The observations will be used to fully characterise the spectral energy distributions and morphologies of these sources.

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. Analysis of the initial datasets has revealed 5 strong z~8 galaxy candidates within the UDF, and possible sources at even higher redshift.

GO 11572: Characterizing Atmospheric Sodium in the Transiting hot-Jupiter HD189733b

An artist's impression of the hot Jupiter circling a solar-type star HD 198733 is a 7th magnitude G5 dwarf that lies at a distance of ~20 parsecs from the Sun, in the direction of the constellation of Vulpecula. Like many other nearby solar-type stars, HD 189733 has an associated planetary system, including a hot Jupiter, a ~1.15 MJ gas giant with an orbital period of 2.12 days. Most significantly, that inner planet transits the central star, making HD 189733 the closest transiting system found so far. Transiting systems offer a potential gold-mine for extrasolar planetary studies, since not only is the orbital inclination well defined, but the diameter (and hence the average density) is directly measureable form the eclipse depth, while the atmospheric composition can be probed through line absorption or re-radiated thermal flux. The results from these measurments can be used to test, and improve, theoretical models of extrasolar planets. These observations are best done from space (indeed, the only successful atmospheric observations to date have been with HST and Spitzer). HD 189733 has already been studied extensively with HST using the grism on the Advanced Camera for Surveys and, at near-infrared wavelengths, NICMOS. However, it's discovery postdated the STIS electronic failure, so it has never been studied at even moderate spectral resolution. The present observations will use the G750M grating on STIS to monitor three transits, and the data will be analysed for the presence of enhanced sodium absorption, as previously detected in the original bright transiting planet, HD 209458b.

GO 11839: The Cycles of Alpha Centauri

A wide-field view of Alpha and Beta Centauri The Hubble Space Telescope is usually devoted to observing objects that are far below the detection limits of the human eye and, indeed, sometime too faint to be detected by any current ground-based observatory. However, space observations in general, and HST in particular, has another distinct advantage: sitting above the atmosphere gives access to wavelengths regions that are absorbed before they reach any ground-based aperture. Ultraviolet radiation is one of those key wavelength regions. Thus, HST will be using the STIS spectrograph to obtain high-resolution spectra of two of the Sun's nearest, and brightest, neighbours: Alpha Centauri A, a near twin of the Sun; and Alpha Centauri B, a slightly cooler and less massive early K-type dwarf. HST has observed both stars before, and the new observations will be resuming a campaign designed to monitor the stars' magnetic activity.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 11/1/2010