This week on HST

HST Programs: August 9, 2010 - August 15, 2010

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
11149 Eiichi Egami, University of Arizona Characterizing the Stellar Populations in Lyman-Alpha Emitters and Lyman Break Galaxies at 5.7
11522 James C. Green, University of Colorado at Boulder COS-GTO: STAR FORMATION/LYMAN-ALPHA
11548 S. Thomas Megeath, University of Toledo NICMOS Imaging of Protostars in the Orion A Cloud: The Role of Environment in Star Formation
11556 Marc W. Buie, Southwest Research Institute Investigations of the Pluto System
11557 Gabriela Canalizo, University of California - Riverside The Nature of low-ionization BAL QSOs
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
11568 Seth Redfield, Wesleyan University A SNAPSHOT Survey of the Local Interstellar Medium: New NUV Observations of Stars with Archived FUV Observations
11572 David Kent Sing, CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Charaterizing Atmospheric Sodium in the Transiting hot-Jupiter HD189733b
11597 S. Adam Stanford, University of California - Davis Spectroscopy of IR-Selected Galaxy Clusters at 1 < z < 1.5
11604 David J. Axon, Rochester Institute of Technology The Nuclear Structure of OH Megamaser Galaxies
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
11655 Konrad Kuijken, Universiteit Leiden Dynamics of the Galactic bulge/bar
11670 Peter Garnavich, University of Notre Dame The Host Environments of Type Ia Supernovae in the SDSS Survey
11671 Andrea Ghez, University of California - Los Angeles Kinematic Reconstruction of the Origin and IMF of the Massive Young Clusters at the Galactic Center
11677 Harvey B. Richer, University of British Columbia Is 47 Tuc Young? Measuring its White Dwarf Cooling Age and Completing a Hubble Legacy
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
11705 Frederick W. Hamann, University of Florida Physical Properties of Quasar Outflows: From BALs to mini-BALs
11728 Timothy M. Heckman, The Johns Hopkins University The Impact of Starbursts on the Gaseous Halos of Galaxies
11735 Filippo Mannucci, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri The LSD project: dynamics, merging and stellar populations of a sample of well-studied LBGs at z~3
12008 Albert Kong, National Tsing Hua University Primordial formation of close binaries in globular clusters with low density cores
12056 Julianne Dalcanton, University of Washington A Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury - I
12228 Glenn Schneider, University of Arizona Probing for Exoplanets Hiding in Dusty Debris Disks: Inner {<10 AU} Disk Imaging, Characterization, and Exploration

Selected highlights

GO 11556: Investigations of the Pluto System

Hubble Space Telescope image of Pluto, Charon and the two new moons, Nix & Hydra Pluto, one of the largest members of the Kuiper Belt and, until recently (still, for some), the outermost planet in the solar system, has been in the news over the last year or two. Besides the extended "planet"/"dwarf planet" debate, Pluto is the primary target of the New Horizons Mission, and Hubble observations in 2005 led to the discovery of two small moons. Together with Charon, itself only discovered in 1978, these additions make Pluto a 4-body system. Christened Nix and Hydra, the two new moons are 5,000 fainter than Pluto itself, implying diameters as small as ~30-50 km if the surface composition is similar to Pluto itself. The present program aims to better characterise these bodies through multicolour observations with WFC3. The observations are phased with a cadence that samples the different orbital periods: 6.4 days for Pluto/Charon; 24.9 days for Nix/Pluto; and 38 days for Hydra/Pluto. The goal is to identify systematic photometric variations that might probe the rotation period, testing whether these moons are in synchronous rotation with Pluto itself.

GO 11568: A SNAPSHOT Survey of the Local Interstellar Medium: New NUV Observations of Stars with Archived FUV Observation

A map of the Local Stellar Neighbourhood Understanding the nature and structure of gas within the interstellar medium is a key step towards understanding how material is recycled and how energetic processes, such as stellar winds and outflows, feed energy into the overall system. UV spectroscopy plays a key role in probing these effects: hot, background objects that produce relatively few intrinsic absorption features serve to map the the velocities and temperatures within the intervening gas along the line of sight. Observations of quasars are used to probe galaxy halos at moderate and high redshift; observations of hot stars provide similar information for gas in the Milky Way. The present program is using STIS to target stars within 100 parsecs of the Sun, studying the nearby interstellar medium. All of these stars have prior observations at far-UV wavelengths; the STIS data will cover the near-UV, survey Fe II and Mg II absorption.

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 11702: Search for Very High-z Galaxies with WFC3 Pure Parallel

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.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 12/8/2010