This week on HST

HST Programs: August 2, 2010 - August 8, 2010

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
11548 S. Thomas Megeath, University of Toledo NICMOS Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation
11563 Garth D. 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
11579 Alessandra Aloisi, Space Telescope Science Institute The Difference Between Neutral- and Ionized-Gas Metal Abundances in Local Star-Forming Galaxies with COS
11588 Raphael Gavazzi, CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Galaxy-Scale Strong Lenses from the CFHTLS survey
11592 Nicolas Lehner, University of Notre Dame Testing the Origin{s} of the Highly Ionized High-Velocity Clouds: A Survey of Galactic Halo Stars at z>3 kpc
11594 John M. O'Meara, Saint Michaels College A WFC3 Grism Survey for Lyman limit absorption at z=2
11598 Jason Tumlinson, Space Telescope Science Institute How Galaxies Acquire their Gas: A Map of Multiphase Accretion and Feedback in Gaseous Galaxy Halos
11613 Roelof S. de Jong, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam GHOSTS: Stellar Outskirts of Massive Spiral Galaxies
11625 Ivan Hubeny, University of Arizona Beyond the classical paradigm of stellar winds: Investigating clumping, rotation and the weak wind problem in SMC O stars
11630 Kathy Rages, SETI Institute Monitoring Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune
11631 Iain Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute Binary brown dwarfs and the L/T transition
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
11657 Letizia Stanghellini, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, AURA The population of compact planetary nebulae in the Galactic Disk
11670 Peter Garnavich, University of Notre Dame The Host Environments of Type Ia Supernovae in the SDSS Survey
11677 Harvey B. Richer, University of British Columbia Is 47 Tuc Young? Measuring its White Dwarf Cooling Age and Completing a Hubble Legacy
11694 David R. Law, University of California - Los Angeles Mapping the Interaction between High-Redshift Galaxies and the Intergalactic Environment
11696 Matthew A. Malkan, University of California - Los Angeles Infrared Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
11702 Hao-Jing Yan, The Ohio State University Research Foundation Search for Very High-z Galaxies with WFC3 Pure Parallel
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
11731 C. S. Kochanek, The Ohio State University Studying Cepheid Systematics in M81: H-band Observations
11741 Todd Tripp, University of Massachusetts Probing Warm-Hot Intergalactic Gas at 0.5 < z < 1.3 with a Blind Survey for O VI, Ne VIII, Mg X, and Si XII Absorption Systems
12056 Julianne Dalcanton, University of Washington A Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury - I
12061 Sandra M. Faber, University of California - Santa Cruz Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey -- GOODS-South Field, Early Visits of SNe Search
12320 Brian Chaboyer, Dartmouth College The Ages of Globular Clusters and the Population II Distance Scale

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 imaging data to even fainter magitudes.

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 11741: Probing Warm-Hot Intergalactic Gas at 0.5 < z < 1.3 with a Blind Survey for O VI, Ne VIII, Mg X, and Si XII Absorption Systems

Probing the intergalactic medium via QSO absorption lines One of the key issues facing modern cosmology is the "missing baryon" problem. In brief, a census of all the constituents in the local universe accounts for less than half of the baryonic mass expected based on measurements of the fractional abundanmce of deuterium and observations of the cosmic microwave background. It is generally believed that the missing material lurks in the form of extremely hot gas in the intergalactic medium. The most effective means of probing that medium, and testing this hypothesis, is to search for the appropriate absorption lines in the spectrum of a background source. QSOs are particularly effective cosmic searchlights, since they have strong continuum flux levels at the ultraviolet wavelengths where most of the important absorption lines fall. Following SM4, and the installation of the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, HST is now well equipped to tackle this type of program, and search fgor a full accounting of the baryonic universe. The present program weill use COS to obtain spectra of nine QSOs at redshifts beyond z=0.89, and will search for warm-hot intergalactic gas in the redshift range 0.5 < z < 1.3.

GO 12061: Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey -- GOODS-South Field, Early Visits of SNe Search

CANDELS is one of three Multi-Cycle Treasury Program, whose observations will be executed over the next three HST Cycles. It builds on past investment of both space- and ground-based observational resources. In particular, it includes coverage of the two fields of the Great Observatory Origins Deep Survey (GOODS), centred on the northern Hubble Deep Field (HDF) in Ursa Major and the Chandra Deep Field-South in Fornax. In addition to deep HST data at optical and near-infrared wavelengths, the fields have been covered at X-ray wavelengths by Chandra (obviously) and XMM-Newton; at mid-infrared wavelengths with Spitzer; and ground-based imaging and spectroscopy using numerous telescopes, including the Kecks, Surbaru and the ESO VLT. This represents an accumulation of almost 1,000 orbits of HST time, and comparable scale allocations on Chandra, Spitzer and ground-based facilities. The CANDELS program is capitalising on this large investment, with new observations with WFC3 and ACS on both GOODS fields, and on three other fields within the COSMOS, EGS and UDS survey areas (see this link for more details). The prime aims of the program are twofold: reconstructing the history of galaxy formation, star formation and nuclear galactic activity at redshifts between z=8 and z=1.5; and searching for high-redshift supernovae to measure their properties at redshifts between z~1 and z~2. The program incorporates a tiered set of observations that complement, in areal coverage and depth, the deep UDF observations, while the timing of individual observations will be set to permit detection of high erdshift SNe candidates, for subsequent separate follow-up.
Part of the GOODS/Chandra Deep Field South field, as imaged by HST

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 3/8/2010