This week on HST


HST Programs: October 16 - October 22 2017

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
14096 Dan Coe, Space Telescope Science Institute - ESA RELICS: Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey
14216 Robert P. Kirshner, Harvard University RAISIN2: Tracers of cosmic expansion with SN IA in the IR
14593 Nate Bastian, Liverpool John Moores University Constraining the Origin of Multiple Populations in Globular Clusters
14598 Ori Dosovitz Fox, Space Telescope Science Institute The Incredibly Long-Lived SN 2005ip
14645 Schuyler D. Van Dyk, California Institute of Technology The Stellar Origins of Supernovae
14712 Raghvendra Sahai, Jet Propulsion Laboratory HST-COS Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of B[e] Supergiant Stars in the Magellanic Clouds
14717 Iair Arcavi, University of California - Santa Barbara What is Enhancing the Tidal Disruption Rate of Stars in Post-Starburst Galaxies?
14730 Andrew Goulding, Princeton University High spatial resolution imaging of AGN-driven super-bubbles in two low-redshift quasars
14734 Nitya Kallivayalil, The University of Virginia Milky Way Cosmology: Laying the Foundation for Full 6-D Dynamical Mapping of the Nearby Universe
14747 Brant Robertson, University of California - Santa Cruz Lyman Continuum Escape Survey (LACES): Detecting Ionizing Radiation from z~3 LAEs with Powerful Optical Lines
14760 Zheng Cai, University of California - Santa Cruz Imaging a Massive Galaxy Overdensity at z=2.3: The Morphology-Density Relation at High Redshift
14767 David Kent Sing, University of Exeter The Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanetary Treasury Program
14776 Trent J. Dupuy, Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Mapping the Substellar Mass-Luminosity Relation Down to the L/T Transition
14781 Chris S. Kochanek, The Ohio State University Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Monitoring of an ASAS-SN Tidal Disruption Event
14784 Evgenya L. Shkolnik, Arizona State University HAZMAT: Habitable Zones and M dwarf Activity across Time
14799 Michael Eracleous, The Pennsylvania State University Why the Different Looks of Changing-Look Quasars?
14898 Jenny Emma Greene, Princeton University The Ongoing Search for Supermassive Black Hole Binaries
15062 Nate Bastian, Liverpool John Moores University Extending the Search for Multiple Populations in Massive Intermediate Age Clusters
15077 Tucker Jones, University of California - Davis Accurate Emission Line Diagnostics at High Redshift
15124 Aaron J. Barth, University of California - Irvine Measuring the Accretion Disk Size in Mrk 509 using Continuum Reverberation Mapping
15133 Peter Erwin, Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik Solving the Mystery of Galaxy Bulges and Bulge Substructure
15140 Ragnhild Lunnan, Stockholm University Resolving the Connection Between Superluminous Supernovae and Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxies
15145 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University The Hubble Constant to 1%: Physics beyond LambdaCDM
15207 Alex Harrison Parker, Southwest Research Institute The Moons of Kuiper Belt Dwarf Planets Makemake and 2007 OR10
15215 Vardha N. Bennert, Cal Poly Corporation, Sponsored Programs Department A Local Baseline of the Black Hole Mass - Host Galaxy Scaling Relations for Active Galaxies
15219 John P. Wisniewski, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Super-Keplerian Motions in the AU Mic Circumstellar Debris System
15232 Francesco R. Ferraro, Universita di Bologna Pushing ahead the frontier of the Globular Cluster dynamics: the 3D view of the velocity space
15242 Lucia Marchetti, Open University SNAPshot observations of the largest sample of lensed candidates in the Equatorial and Southern Sky identified with Herschel
15279 Sean Johnson, Princeton University Unveiling Quasar Fueling through a Public Snapshot Survey of Quasar Host Environments
15304 Julien de Wit, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Collecting the Puzzle Pieces: Completing HST's UV+NIR Survey of the TRAPPIST-1 System ahead of JWST
15307 Michael D. Gladders, University of Chicago Building the SPT-HST Legacy: Imaging Massive Clusters to z=1.5
15318 Kailash C. Sahu, Space Telescope Science Institute Detecting Isolated Black Holes through Astrometric Microlensing
15344 David Jewitt, University of California - Los Angeles Centaurs and Activity Beyond the Water Sublimation Zone
15355 Nao Suzuki, Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe Perfect Blackbody Spectra for JWST and Next Generation UV-Opt-IR Standard Star Network
15380 Laurent Lamy, Observatoire de Paris - Section de Meudon Hunting the successive auroral response of Uranus and Neptune to unexpected powerful heliospheric disturbances
15396 Paul A. Wilson, Universiteit Leiden Observing the beta Pic Hill Sphere Transit in the far-UV

Selected highlights

GO 14096: RELICS: Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey


Hubble image and mass map for the cluster ACT-CL J0102-4915, one of the clusters included in the RELICS program
The overwhelming majority of galaxies in the universe are found in clusters. As such, those 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 builds on the highly successful CLASH program,which used 17-colour ACS/WFC3 images to map 25 galaxy clusters, tracing the mas profile and the dark matter distribution, and the Frontier Fields program, targeting six clusters for deep multi-colour imaging. RELICS is focused on using massive galaxy clusters as gravitational telescopes, searching for strongly lensed background galaxies drawn from the high redshift universe. Imaging 46 fields in 41 galaxy clusters, this program aims to identify galaxies with redshifts in the range 9 < z < 12. By targeting strongly-lensing clusters, standard models for galaxy evolution suggest that the program can deliver ~100 galaxies in that redshift range, together with more than 150 galaxies at z~8. A significant number of these galaxies should be brighter than H~25.5, and therefore accessible to more detailed follow-up observations. Conversely, the actual number of galaxies detected will set constraints on the galaxy number-redshift distribution, and the overall formation and assembly history.

GO 14645: The stellar origins of supernovae


A recent supernova in M100
Supernovae mark the (spectacular) evolutionary endpoint for a subset of stellar systems. Standard models predict that Type II supernovae originate from relatively massive stars, while Type Ia arise from interactions between close binaries that include a compact (WD, neutron star) component. There are, however, still some questions over whether we fully understand the range of possible progenitors.The present program focuses on probing the progenitors of nearby supernovae. The last decade has seen the development of a number of large-scale programs, usually using moderate-sized telescopes, that are dedicated to monitoring (relatively nearby galaxies, searching for new supernovae. Over the past 25 years, Hubble has acquired images of numerous galaxies, and some of the newly discovered supernovae fall within those galaxies. The research team associated with this project will scour those data for evidence of a point-source that matches the astrometric position of the supernova derived from ground-based data. Should such a candidate be detected, Hubble observations are triggered to refine the supernova position and obtain a more definitive match with a optential progenitor in the pre-supernova hubble image. The present observation targets the type IIb supernova SN2017EIN, discovered in NGC 3938 on May 25 2017.

GO 14784: HAZMAT: Habitable Zones and M dwarf Activity across Time


SOHO image of an extremely strong solar flare
Stellar activity, whether through flares and coronal mass ejections, has the potential to affect the ability of life to evolve and survive on otherwise habitable planets in stellar systems. High energy radiation can lead to significant mutations, and particle ejections can actually strip the atmospheres of unfortunate planets. Low mass, low luminosity M dwarfs are the most populous stars in the galaxy, and systems where the habitable zone lies close to the parent star, with a correspondingly higher vulnerability. M dwarf activity varies with mass/temperature, peaking at mid-M types. Activity also varies with age, declining relatively rapidly in early-type M dwarfs and persisting at later types. The present program aims to statistically characterise those variations, and infer how they might affect planetary companions, through ultraviolet spectroscopic observations of stars spannign a range of age and mass. The observations are being taken in the far- and near-UV using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.

GO 15396: Observing the Beta Pic Hill sphere transit in the far-UV


Gemini Planet Imager observations of Beta Pic b; the linked image shows the extended disk
It is now well established that planet formation occurs within circumstellar disks. The past decade has seen the identification of many examples of such phenomena around young stars, notably through infrared observations by the Spitzer space telescope and ground-based data from millimetre-wave interferometers.One of the most prominent is the edge-on debris disk disk around beta Pictoris, an A star at a distance of ~ 19 parsecs and an estimated age of ~10-20 million years. Originally discovered in the early 1980s, the system has been since targeted extensively from both the ground and space, including coronagraphic observations with STIS and direct imaging with WFPC2, ACS and WFC3 on HST. High angular-resolution ground-based imaging in late 2008 with the NACO instrument on the ESO Very Large Telescope resulted in the detection of a planet in that system. The planet's orbit lies close to the star, inside the inner edge of the debris disk with a semi-major axis of ~9 AU and slightly inclined to the plane of the disk. Spectroscopic observations indicate that the exoplanet is a gas giant, with a radius approximately 1.65 times that of Jupiter and a mass ~sevenfold greater. The orbital period is only 21.6 years, and since its discovery Beta Pic b has circled behind the parent star and been recovered by high-resolution imagers such as Sphere and the Gemini Planet Finder. The planet will shortly start its pasage across the face of the parent star. It remains unclear whether the planet itself will transit, but recent observations with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph have detected variable absorption features, indicating the Hill sphere - the spatial volume where the planet's gravity dominates, and where residual material from its formation may be trapped - is in transit. The present program continues those observations, sampling further regions within the sphere. The transit is expected to extend through early 2019.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 31/8/2017
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