This week on HST


HST Programs: September 26, 2011 - October 2, 2011


Cycle 19 begins on October 1, 2011

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
11714 Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute Snapshot Survey for Planetary Nebulae in Local Group Globular Clusters
12026 James C. Green, University of Colorado at Boulder COS-GTO: Sampling the Interstellar Gas Between the Milky Way and Triangulum Galaxies
12029 James C. Green, University of Colorado at Boulder WARM AND HOT ISM IN AND NEAR THE MILKY WAY Part 2
12036 James C. Green, University of Colorado at Boulder COS-GTO: Accretion Flows and Winds of Pre-Main Sequence Stars Part 2
12102 Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute Through a Lens, Darkly - New Constraints on the Fundamental Components of the Cosmos
12166 Harald Ebeling, University of Hawaii A Snapshot Survey of The Most Massive Clusters of Galaxies
12177 Pieter van Dokkum, Yale University 3D-HST: A Spectroscopic Galaxy Evolution Treasury
12179 Jean-Claude Bouret, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille The Stellar Winds of Evolved, Braked O-Type Magnetic Oblique Rotators
12181 Drake Deming, University of Maryland The Atmospheric Structure of Giant Hot Exoplanets
12192 James T. Lauroesch, University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc. A SNAPSHOT Survey of Interstellar Absorption Lines
12202 Gregory R. Sivakoff, The University of Virginia Wide-Field Hubble Observations of NGC 1023: Testing the Origin of Low-Mass X-ray Binaries in a Lenticular Galaxy
12210 Adam S. Bolton, University of Utah SLACS for the Masses: Extending Strong Lensing to Lower Masses and Smaller Radii
12244 Joachim Saur, Universitat zu Koeln Mapping Ganymede's time variable aurora in the search for a subsurface ocean
12246 Christopher W. Stubbs, Harvard University Weak Lensing Mass Calibration of SZ-Selected Clusters
12278 Thomas R. Ayres, University of Colorado at Boulder Advanced Spectral Library Project: Cool Stars
12286 Hao-Jing Yan, University of Missouri - Columbia Hubble Infrared Pure Parallel Imaging Extragalactic Survey {HIPPIES}
12287 Scott D. Friedman, Space Telescope Science Institute Constraining Models of Deuterium Depletion and Galactic Chemical Evolution with Improved Measurements of D/H
12292 Tommaso L. Treu, University of California - Santa Barbara SWELLS: doubling the number of disk-dominated edge-on spiral lens galaxies
12298 Richard S. Ellis, California Institute of Technology Towards a Physical Understanding of the Diversity of Type Ia Supernovae
12307 Andrew J. Levan, The University of Warwick A public SNAPSHOT survey of gamma-ray burst host galaxies
12314 Daniel Apai, University of Arizona Mapping Brown Dwarfs: The Evolution of Cloud Properties Through the L/T Transition
12322 Kailash C. Sahu, Space Telescope Science Institute Detecting Isolated Black Holes through Astrometric Microlensing
12330 J. Davy Kirkpatrick, California Institute of Technology Spitzer Verification of the Coldest WISE?selected Brown Dwarfs
12448 Arlin Crotts, Columbia University in the City of New York Towards a Detailed Understanding of T Pyx, Its Outbursts and Shell
12452 Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute Through a Lens, Darkly - New Constraints on the Fundamental Components of the Cosmos
12477 Fredrick W. High, University of Chicago Weak lensing masses of the highest redshift galaxy clusters from the South Pole Telescope SZ survey
12502 Andrew S. Fruchter, Space Telescope Science Institute From the Locations to the Origins of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts
12514 Karl Stapelfeldt, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Imaging of Newly-identified Edge-on Protoplanetary Disks in Nearby Star-Forming Regions
12515 Dougal Mackey, Australian National University Probing the outer limits of a galactic halo - deep imaging of exceptionally remote globular clusters in M31
12520 Charles R. Proffitt, Computer Sciences Corporation Testing Rotational Mixing in Massive Stars: Boron in the Galactic Open Cluster NGC 3293
12673 Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute HST Observations of Astrophysically Important Visual Binaries
12679 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University Luminosity-Distance Standards from Gaia and HST
12725 Harold A. Weaver, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory A Deep Search for Satellites in the Pluto System: Providing Critical, Safety-of-Flight Support to NASA's New Horizons Mission

Selected highlights

GO 12103: Through a Lens, Darkly - New Constraints on the Fundamental Components of the Cosmos


The cluster MACS J1206.2-0.47, imaged by HST as part of the CLASH program
The overwhelming majority of galaxies in the universe are found in clusters. As such, these systems offer an important means of tracing the development of large-scale structure through the history of the universe. Moreover, as intense concentrations of mass, galaxy clusters provide highly efficient gravitational lenses, capable of concentrating and magnifying light from background high redshift galaxies to allow detailed spectropic investigations of star formation in the early universe. Hubble imaging has already revealed lensed arcs and detailed sub-structure within a handful of rich clusters. At the same time, the lensing characteristics provide information on the mass distribution within the lensing cluster. The present program aims to capitalise fully on HST's imaging capabilities, utilising the refurbished Advanced Camera for Surveys and the newly-installed Wide-Field Camera 3 to obtain 17-colour imaging of 25 rich clusters. The data will be use to map the mass profiles of the clusters and probe the characteristics of the high-redshift lensed galaxies. Since ACS and WFC3 can be operated in parallel, the program will also use parallel imaging in offset fields to search for high-redshift supernovae. The present observations target the cluster MACS 2137-2353.

GO 12177: 3D-HST: A Spectroscopic Galaxy Evolution Treasury


Part of the GOODS/Chandra Deep Field South field, as imaged by HST
One of the exciting new capabilities offered by the post-SM4 Hubble Telescope is multi-object, low-resolution, near-infrared spectroscopy, using the two grisms available on the IR channel of Wide-Field Camera 3. These observations provide an important avenue for complementing wide-field imaging surveys. In particular, the present program aims to build on the extensive database currently being accumulated as part of the CANDELS Multi-Cycle Treasury program. CANDELS, itself, rests on past HST Treasury programs, and will provide multi-tiered imaging of five fields. 3D-HST will supplement portions of four fields (GOODS-south, AEGIS, the UDS and COSMOS fields) with WFC3/G141 and ACS/G800L grism data. The spectroscopic data will provide important additional information on the galaxy redshift distribution, and on the star formation characteristics in the redshift range 1 < z < 3.5. The data should also be useful in identifying quasars at high redshifts, potentially extending beyond z~6.

GO 12202: Wide-Field Hubble Observations of NGC 1023: Testing the Origin of Low-Mass X-ray Binaries in a Lenticular Galaxy


The lenticular galaxy, NGC 1023
Low-mass X-ray binaries are generally believed to be binary systems where a compact, high-mass component, either a black hole or a neutron star, is accreting mass from a lower-mass component that is overflowing its Roche lobe. These systems are extremely luminous at short wavelengths, and are readily detected at X-ray wavelengths in nearby galaxies. The present program targets the lenticular galaxy, NGC 1023, the brightest member of the eponymous small group lying at a distance of ~10 Mpc. The Chandra satellite will be used to obtain a deep (~200 ksec) exposure that is expected to reveal ~70 field LMXBs, together with several hundred star clusters. Deep ACS imaging will be used to not only search for optical counterparts to the ray sources, but also to characterise the spatial distribution of globular clusters and open clusters.

GO 12314: Mapping Brown Dwarfs: The Evolution of Cloud Properties Through the L/T Transition


Brown dwarfs are likely to have complex atmospheric structures that resemble Jupiter
Brown dwarfs are failed stars - objects that form like stars, by gravitational collapse within giant molecular clouds, but which have insufficient mass to raise the central temperature above 107 K, and which therefore are unable to ignite hydrogran fusion and maintain a long-lived central energy source. As such, these objects reach a maximum surface temperature of perhaps 3,000K some tens of millions of years after their formation, and subsequently cool and fade into oblivion. As they cool, they move through spectral types M, L and T, with the oldest brown dwarfs now likely to have temperatures close to 300K and emergent spectra characterised by water and ammonia bands, the putative signatures of the spectral class Y. As these dwarfs cool from L to T (~1500 to ~1200K), the atmosopheres undergo significant changes, with heavier elements condensing to form dust. That dust can form clouds, perhaps giving the dwarf's surface a banded appearance, similar to Jupiter. The clouds themselves may appear and disappear over relatively short timescales, leading to photometric variations at particular wavelengths. The current program focuses on a handful of brown dwarfs with spextral types near the L/T transition, and uses the WFC3 grism to obtain high-accuracy monitoring of their spectral behaviour. Two of these sources will also be observed with Spitzer.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 2/5/2011