This week on HST

HST Programs: November 29, 2010 - December 5, 2010

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
11572 David Kent Sing, CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Charaterizing Atmospheric Sodium in the Transiting hot-Jupiter HD189733b
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
11641 Mark S. Westmoquette, University College London (UCL) Super star clusters in the starburst core of M82
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
11660 Francesca Bacciotti, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri Investigation Jet Rotation in Young Stars via High Resolution UV Spectra
11696 Matthew A. Malkan, University of California - Los Angeles Infrared Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
11697 Slawomir Stanislaw Piatek, New Jersey Institute of Technology Proper Motion Survey of Classical and SDSS Local Group Dwarf Galaxies
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
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
11736 David M. Meyer, Northwestern University The Nearest Cold Interstellar Cloud
12028 James C. Green, University of Colorado at Boulder COS and WFC3 Observations of I Zwicky 18 Part 2
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
12068 Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute Through a Lens, Darkly - New Constraints on the Fundamental Components of the Cosmos
12099 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University Supernova Follow-up for MCT
12166 Harald Ebeling, University of Hawaii A Snapshot Survey of The Most Massive Clusters of Galaxies
12169 Boris T. Gaensicke, The University of Warwick The frequency and chemical composition of planetary debris discs around young white dwarfs
12178 Scott F. Anderson, University of Washington Spanning the Reionization History of IGM Helium: a Highly Efficient Spectral Survey of the Far-UV-Brightest Quasars
12192 James T. Lauroesch, University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc. A SNAPSHOT Survey of Interstellar Absorption Lines
12210 Adam S. Bolton, University of Utah SLACS for the Masses: Extending Strong Lensing to Lower Masses and Smaller Radii
12215 Nancy R. Evans, Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory Searching for the Missing Low-Mass Companions of Massive Stars
12217 Philip Lucas, University of Hertfordshire Spectroscopy of faint T dwarf calibrators: understanding the substellar mass function and the coolest brown dwarfs
12226 R. Michael Rich, University of California - Los Angeles The Hot Stellar Content and HB morphology of the massive globular cluster G1
12245 Mark R. Showalter, SETI Institute Orbital Evolution and Stability of the Inner Uranian Moons
12248 Jason Tumlinson, Space Telescope Science Institute How Dwarf Galaxies Got That Way: Mapping Multiphase Gaseous Halos and Galactic Winds Below L*
12249 Wei Zheng, The Johns Hopkins University Reionization of Intergalactic Helium at the Highest Redshifts
12272 Christy A. Tremonti, University of Wisconsin - Madison Testing Feedback: Morphologies of Extreme Post-starburst Galaxies
12275 Bart P. Wakker, University of Wisconsin - Madison Measuring gas flow rates in the Milky Way
12276 Bart P. Wakker, University of Wisconsin - Madison Mapping a nearby galaxy filament
12283 Matthew A. Malkan, University of California - Los Angeles WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel Survey {WISP}: A Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
12284 James Muzerolle, Space Telescope Science Institute Light Echoes from a Periodic Protostellar Outburst
12286 Hao-Jing Yan, The Ohio State University Hubble Infrared Pure Parallel Imaging Extragalactic Survey {HIPPIES}
12289 J. Christopher Howk, University of Notre Dame A COS Snapshot Survey for z < 1.25 Lyman Limit Systems
12292 Tommaso L. Treu, University of California - Santa Barbara SWELLS: doubling the number of disk-dominated edge-on spiral lens galaxies
12296 Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute HST Observations of Astrophysically Important Visual Binaries
12299 Michael Eracleous, The Pennsylvania State University Spectroscopic Signatures of Binary and Recoiling Black Holes
12307 Andrew J. Levan, The University of Warwick A public SNAPSHOT survey of gamma-ray burst host galaxies
12312 Harold A. Weaver, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Hubble Investigation of 103P/Hartley 2 in Support of NASA's DIXI Mission
12316 John P. Wisniewski, University of Washington HST/FGS Astrometric Search for Young Planets Around Beta Pic and AU Mic
12317 Michael C. Liu, University of Hawaii Dynamical Masses of the Coolest Brown Dwarfs
12320 Brian Chaboyer, Dartmouth College The Ages of Globular Clusters and the Population II Distance Scale
12332 Rogier A. Windhorst, Arizona State University WFC3 imaging of z=6 QSO hosts: Zooming in on the First L>L* Galaxies & their Surroundings

Selected highlights

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 11697: Proper Motion Survey of Classical and SDSS Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

The low-mass dwarf galaxy, Leo II The Milky Way, m31 and M33 are the three largest galaxies in the Local Group. The system, however, includes more than 25 other members, the majority being dwarf spheroidal galaxies that are satellites of either M31 or the Milky Way. Those galaxies have old, evolved stellar populations, and even the most prominent have masses that are less than a few x 107 MSun, or 10-4 that of the Milky Way. All of these galaxies are moving in the potential set by the overall Local Group system, but dominated by M31 and the Milky Way. Determining full space motions for the dwarfs therefore provide a means of constraining that potential. Even thought the galaxies, and their brightest stellar constituents, are faint, measuring radial velocity is a relatively straightforward procedure. Deriving tangential motions is not, since the typical proper motions of these systems are a few mas/year at best. The present proposal aims to capitalise on the exceptional resolution and high stability of HST to address this issue. WFC3 will target 7 dwarf galaxies, imaging fields that are centred on a background QSO. That QSO serves as a reference point for measurement of the transverse motion of stars in the foreground dwarf galaxy.

GO 11727: UV spectroscopy of Local Lyman Break Galaxy Analogs: New Clues to Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe

Mosaic of HST images of M82, the best-known starburst galaxy Current Big Bang cosmological models predict that the universe should have undergone a global re-ionisation at redshifts between 6 and 20. The first generation of stars is generally tapped as the most likely source of the ionising radiation, perhaps enhanced through merger-stimulated starbursts. Candidate galaxies at high redshift have been identified by searching for "dropouts": objects where the flux decreases significantly in the photometric passband associated with the Lyman break at a particular redshift. Deep observations with WFC3 have extended coverage to redshifts 7 and 8. However, detailed observations of such systems are not yet possible. Consequently, there is great interest in identifying galaxies at lower redshifts that could serve as analogues for the z>6 systems. Over the last few years, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) has proved an important new tool in identifying "Lyman Break Analogues". GALEX has conducted an all-sky survey at ultraviolet wavelengths, and has uncovered sigificant numbers of UV luminous galaxies at low and moderate redshifts. Many galaxies are starbursts, undergoing substantial outbursts of star formation. These galaxies have been categorised as "compact UV luminous galaxies" (UVLGs), and appear to be undergoing small-scale mergers, leading to extensive dissipation and vigorous star formation. These galaxies have extensive prior HST observations at optical and near-UV wavelengths. The present program will add COS Far-UV observations, to fully characterise the spectral energy distributions.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 12/19/2010