This week on HST

HST Programs: May 3, 2010 - May 9, 2010

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title Links
11235 Jason A. Surace, California Institute of Technology HST NICMOS Survey of the Nuclear Regions of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local Universe Abstract
11568 Seth Redfield, Wesleyan University A SNAPSHOT Survey of the Local Interstellar Medium: New NUV Observations of Stars with Archived FUV Observations Abstract
11595 John M. O'Meara, Saint Michaels College Turning out the Light: A WFC3 Program to Image z>2 Damped Lyman Alpha Systems Abstract
11602 Sahar S. Allam, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory High-resolution imaging of three new UV-bright lensed arcs Abstract
11606 Dan Batcheldor, Rochester Institute of Technology Dynamical Hypermassive Black Hole Masses Abstract
11624 Stefanie Komossa, Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik Black hole superkicks: Imaging the site of a gravitational wave recoil event Abstract
11628 Eva Noyola, Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik Globular Cluster Candidates for Hosting a Central Black Hole Abstract
11630 Kathy Rages, SETI Institu Monitoring Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune /td> Abstract
11631 Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute Binary brown dwarfs and the L/T transition Abstract
11634 Carmen Sanchez Contreras, Instituto de Estructura de la Materia Probing the collimation of pristine post-AGB jets with STIS Abstract
11636 Brian Siana, Jet Propulsion Laboratory First Resolved Imaging of Escaping Lyman Continuum 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
11645 John T. Clarke, Boston University HST COS Observations of the Atmosphere and Airglow/Aurora of Enceladus /td> Abstract
11650 William M. Grundy, Lowell Observatory Mutual Orbits, Colors, Masses, and Bulk Densities of 3 Cold Classical Transneptunian Binaries Abstract
11662 Misty C. Bentz, University of California - Irvine Improving the Radius-Luminosity Relationship for Broad-Lined AGNs with a New Reverberation Sample Abstract
11664 Thomas M. Brown, Space Telescope Science Institute The WFC3 Galactic Bulge Treasury Program: Populations, Formation History, and Planets Abstract
11669 Andrew S. Fruchter, Space Telescope Science Institute The Origins of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts 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
11687 Thomas R. Ayres, University of Colorado at Boulder SNAPing Coronal Iron Abstract
11698 Mary E. Putman, Columbia University in the City of New York The Structure and Dynamics of Virgo's Multi-Phase Intracluster Medium Abstract
11700 Michele Trenti, University of Colorado at Boulder Bright Galaxies at z>7.5 with a WFC3 Pure Parallel Survey Abstract
11719 Julianne Dalcanton, University of Washington A Calibration Database for Stellar Models of Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars Abstract
11720 Patrick Dufour, University of Arizona Detailed analysis of carbon atmosphere white dwarfs Abstract
11721 Richard S. Ellis, California Institute of Technology Verifying the Utility of Type Ia Supernovae as Cosmological Probes: Evolution and Dispersion in the Ultraviolet Spectra Abstract
11727 Timothy M. Heckman, The Johns Hopkins University UV spectroscopy of Local Lyman Break Galaxy Analogs: New Clues to Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe Abstract
11737 David M. Meyer, Northwestern University The Distance Dependence of the Interstellar N/O Abundance Ratio: A Gould Belt Influence? Abstract
11739 Giampaolo Piotto, Universita di Padova Multiple Stellar Generations in the Unique Globular Clusters NGC 6388 and NGC 6441 Abstract
11789 George Fritz Benedict, University of Texas at Austin An Astrometric Calibration of Population II Distance Indicators Abstract
11838 Herman L. Marshall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Completing a Flux-limited Survey for X-ray Emission from Radio Jets Abstract
12020 William I. Clarkson, University of California - Los Angeles The Deepest Stellar X-ray/optical Census of the Bulge Abstract

Selected highlights

GO 11630 Monitoring active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune

Nicmos image of aurorae on Uranus The atmospheres of the gas giant planets in the solar system are dynamic entities that can exhibit dramatic changes over a variety of timescales. Those changes are most apparent in Jovian atmosphere, which displays a wide variety of bands and spots, reflecting complex meteorological phenomena (see, e.g., previous ACS observations of the upper atmosphere and of the new little red spot ). This is not surprising since Jupiter atmosphere receives the highest input of solar energy. However, secular variations are also evident in the atmospheres of the outer planets, albeit usually at a more subtle level. The present program builds on past HST programs (see Program GO 10534 ) that have monitored atmospheric changes in the two outermost gas giants, Uranus and Neptune. Both exhibit long-term seasonal variations, whose origins are not yet well understood; both are capable of generating dark spots - phenomena that are presumably related to Jupiter's Great Red Spot and Saturn's Great White Spot. The present observations use a variety of filters on Wide-Field Camera 3 (notably the quad methane filter) to probe conditions are a variety of levels within the planetary atmospheres.

GO 11698: The Structure and Dynamics of Virgo's Multi-Phase Intracluster Medium

The central regions of the Virgo cluster Galaxy clusters are building blocks for the largest structures in the universe. Star formation ensures that galaxies are the most prominent constituents of the cluster structure, but the bulk of the baryonic material (perhaps as much as 90%) resides in hot gas that permeates the potential well defined by the underlying dark matter. The low density (10-3 particles cm-3) gas is extremely hot (temperatures of 107 to 108 Kelvin), and therefore directly detectable at X-ray wavelengths. Those observations provide a means of mapping the gas density distribution, but they are not able to determine the dynamical properties of the intracluster medium (ICM). The most effective means of probing the dynamics is through spectroscopic observations of background sources, where the line-of-sight absorption features introduced by the ICM gas allow one to identify velocity structure. The present program aims to use 15 background QSOs, identified by SDSS, as a first step in tracing the dynamics within the Virgo cluster ICM.

GO 11700: Bright Galaxies at z>7.5 with a WFC3 Pure Parallel Survey

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. Wide Field Camera 3, installed in Servicing Mission 4, is well suited to these observations, and a number of programs are in place in Cycle 17 that address these issues. Indeed, WFC3 is employed in pure parallel mode by several programs. These take advantage of other science programs, usually with COS, that involve 2-5 orbit pointings on sources at high galactic latitude. The WFC3 pointing is unplanned, since it depends on the orientation adopted for the prime observations, but 2-5 orbits of IR imaging can reach galaxies at redshifts exceeding z=7 (potentially even z~8) in high latitude fields. This is one of two such programs in the cycle 17 portfolio.

GO 11721: Verifying the Utility of Type Ia Supernovae as Cosmological Probes: Evolution and Dispersion in the Ultraviolet Spectra

A recent supernova in M100 Supernovae are the most spectacular form of stellar obituary. In recent years, these celestial explosions have acquired even more significance through the use of Type Ia supernovae as distance indicators in mapping the `dark energy' acceleration term of cosmic expansion. However, while there is a well-established model for the two main types of supernovae, runaway fusion on the surface of a white dwarf in a binary system, there are still some uncertainties as to the uniformity of the events, and the consequence potential for systematic uncertainties in the distance estimates. One of the questionmarks comes from spectroscopy of a number of supernovae at intermediate redshift (z~0.5) that appears to show a substantial dispersion in properties at UV wavelengths. The present program aims to probe this issue by using STIS to obtain UV spectra of nearby supernovae, and therefore examining the detailed behaviour in the local universe.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 19/2/2010