This week on HST


HST Programs: June 8 - June 14, 2015

HST Cycle 23 TAC week

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
13352 Matthew A. Malkan, University of California - Los Angeles WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel Survey WISP: A Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
13473 Timothy M. Heckman, The Johns Hopkins University On the Nature of Highly Ionized Gas in the Halos of Normal Star-Forming Galaxies
13647 Ryan Foley, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Testing the Standardizability of Type Ia Supernovae with the Cepheid Distance of a Twin Supernova
13655 Matthew Hayes, Stockholm University How Lyman alpha bites/beats the dust
13665 Bjoern Benneke, California Institute of Technology Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanet Atmospheres in the Super-Earth Regime
13676 Eileen T Meyer, University of Maryland Baltimore County Solving the X-ray Origin Problem in Kiloparsec-Scale Relativistic Jets: Hubble Provides the Missing Key
13677 Saul Perlmutter, University of California - Berkeley See Change: Testing time-varying dark energy with z>1 supernovae and their massive cluster hosts
13681 Pieter van Dokkum, Yale University Fluctuation spectroscopy with the ACS ramp filters: a new way to measure the IMF in elliptical galaxies
13687 Alessandra Beifiori, Universitats-Sternwarte Munchen Unveiling the mass-to-light distribution of high-redshift clusters
13689 Aleksandar M. Diamond-Stanic, University of Wisconsin - Madison How Compact is the Stellar Mass in Eddington-Limited Starbursts?
13690 Tanio Diaz-Santos, Universidad Diego Portales Tracking the Obscured Star Formation Along the Complete Evolutionary Merger Sequence of LIRGs
13691 Wendy L. Freedman, University of Chicago CHP-II: The Carnegie Hubble Program to Measure Ho to 3% Using Population II
13694 Amanda R. Hendrix, Planetary Science Institute UV spectra of the icy Saturnian satellites: Understanding exogenic processes and NH3 in the system
13695 Benne W. Holwerda, Sterrewacht Leiden STarlight Absorption Reduction through a Survey of Multiple Occulting Galaxies (STARSMOG)
13706 Joshua E. G. Peek, Space Telescope Science Institute Galactic Accretion Unveiled: A Unique Opportunity with COS and M33
13736 Eric Robert Schindhelm, Southwest Research Institute Contemporaneous Mid-UV Spectral Coverage of Pluto and Charon Coincident With the New Horizons Encounter
13760 Derck L. Massa, Space Science Institute Filling the gap --near UV, optical and near IR extinction
13767 Michele Trenti, University of Melbourne Bright Galaxies at Hubble's Detection Frontier: The redshift z~9-10 BoRG pure-parallel survey
13776 Michael D. Gregg, University of California - Davis Completing The Next Generation Spectral Library
13779 Sangeeta Malhotra, Arizona State University The Faint Infrared Grism Survey (FIGS)
13785 Naveen A. Reddy, University of California - Riverside Stellar Populations and Ionization States of Lyman Alpha Emitters During the Epoch of Peak Star Formation
13786 Glenn Schneider, University of Arizona Decoding Debris System Substructures: Imprints of Planets/Planetesimals and Signatures of Extrinsic Influences on Material in Ring-Like Disks
13818 Zheng Cai, University of Arizona Probing Quasar Host Galaxy of a Quasar at z=2.1 with Damped Lyman Alpha System as Coronagraph
13834 Roeland P. van der Marel, Space Telescope Science Institute The Proper Motion Field along the Magellanic Bridge: a New Probe of the LMC-SMC interaction
13836 Margherita Giustini, European Space Agency - ESTEC Unveiling the X-ray/UV Connection in AGN Winds: the PG 1126-041 Case Study
13841 Alexandre Gallenne, Universidad de Concepcion Accurate masses and distances of the binary Cepheids S Mus and SU Cyg
13856 Denija Crnojevic, Texas Tech University Resolving the faint end of the satellite luminosity function for the nearest elliptical Centaurus A
13928 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University HST and Gaia, Light and Distance
14049 C. S. Kochanek, The Ohio State University Dust to Dust: Monitoring the Evolution of the New Class of Self-Obscured Transient
14054 Ehud Behar, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Tracking Down the Ionized Outflow of NGC 7469

Selected highlights

GO 13352: WISP - A Survey of Star Formation Across Cosmic Time


A region of massive star formation
Star formation is the key astrophysical process in determining the overall evolution of galactic systems, the generation of heavy elements, and the overall enrichment of interstellar and intergalactic material. Tracing the overall evolution through a wide redshift range is crucial to understanding how gas and stars evolved to form the galaxies that we see around us now. The present program builds on the ability of HST to carry out parallel observations, using more than one instrument. While the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph is focused on obtaining ultraviolet spectra of unparalleled signal-to-noise, this program uses the near-infrared grisms mounted on the Wide-Field Camera 3 infrared channel to obtain low resolution spectra between 1 and 1.6 microns of randomly-selected nearby fields. The goal is to search for emission lines characteristic of star-forming regions. In particular, these observations are capable of detecting Lyman-alpha emission generated by star formation at redshifts z > 5.6. A total of up to 40 "deep" (4-5 orbit) and 20 "shallow" (2-3 orbit) fields will be targeted in the course of this observing campaign.

GO 13736: Contemporaneous Mid-UV Spectral Coverage of Pluto and Charon Coincident With the New Horizons Encounter


The first New Horizon image Pluto and Charon, from a distance of ~200 million km
Pluto, one of the largest members of the Kuiper Belt and, until recently, the outermost planet in the solar system, is the primary target of NASA's New Horizons Mission and has been the subject of a range of supporting HST programs over the past few years. Those observing programs have added four moons to the Pluto system. James Christy originally identified the largest moon, Charon, in 1978 from photographic plates Charon has a diameter of ~1200 km, or almost half that of Pluto itself. In 2005, Hubble added two small moons, christened Nix and Hydra, approximately 5,000 times fainter than Pluto itself, implying diameters as small as ~30-50 km if the surface composition is similar. More recent observations, in support of New Horizons mission, aimed to use WFC3 to search for faint rings due to dust particles that might jeopardise the space craft and require a course correction. While no rings were detected unequivocally, two small satellite, christened "P4" and "P5", have been discovered. Both are significantly fainter than Nix and Hydra, and may well be as small as 10-13 km in size. There is also some evidence that might point to the presence of a debris ring within Charon's orbit. Most recently, Hubble carried out an extensive imaging survey to identify KBOs lying beyond pluto that might seve as targets for an extended new Horizons mission. Two such candidates were identified, and hubble will be conducting follow up observations to further constrain their orbits. The present observations are in direct support of the primary New Horizons mission. The instrumentation provides wide wavelength coverage, but does not cover the near-UV/blue wavelengths from 1870 to 4000 Angstroms. Those wavelengths are covered by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer, and STIS will be used to obtain spectra with the G320L grating, timing the observations to cover the same hemisphere that will be observed during the New Horizons fly-by on Bastille day.

GO 13779: The Faint infrared Grism Survey (FIGS)


Grism spectra from the CANDELS program
One of the exciting 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. Those observations provide an important avenue for complementing the various dep imaging surveys undertaken by HST. The 3D-HST program used relatively shallow observations to observe a significant fraction of the area covered by the CANDELS Multi-Cycle Treasury program. The present program, FIGS, targets only 4 fields, split between GOODS South and GOODS North, but with integrations totalling 40 orbits for each field. As a consequence, the observations will have significantly greater sensitivity, with the potential of measuring Lyman-alpha emission from galaxies at redshifts 5.5 < z < 8.5. The spectroscopic data will provide important additional information on the galaxy redshift distribution, on the formation of early-type galaxies at 1 < z < 2 and the evolution of star formation for moderate luminosity galaxies at z > 1.

GO 13786: Decoding Debris System Substructures: Imprints of Planets/Planetesimals and Signatures of Extrinsic Influences on Material in Ring-Like Disks


The HST-STIS discovery image of the debris disk around HD 202628, one of the stars targeted in this program (image by J.Krist)
Planet formation occurs in circumstellar disks around young stars. Most of the gaseous content of those disks dissipates in less than 10 million years, leaving dusty debris disks that are detectable through reflect light at near-infrared and, to a lesser extent, optical wavelengths. The disk structure is affected by massive bodies (i.e. planets and asteroids), which, through dynamical interactions and resonances, can produce rings and asymmetries. Over the past decade, HST and Spitzer have provided complementary information on this topic, with Spitzer measuring thermal radiation from circumstellar dust and HST providing high-resolution mapping of debris disks in reflected light. Almost a dozen debris disk systems have currently been imaged; moreover, planetary companions to the young (60 Myr-old) F star, HR 8799, have also been imaged by both ground-based telescopes and HST. Many prior HST observations were made using the The coronagraph was associated with the High Resolution Camera on the Advanced Camera for Surveys. That instrument was not restored in SM4; however, coronagraphy is still possible using the occulting bar on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). The present program targets five systems with moderately inclined debris disks, including three G-dwarfs (HD 202628, HD 207129 and HD 202917) and two A-dwarfs (HD 14156, HR 4796). The goal is to obtain deep images that reveal the detailed structure of the disk, probing the likely development of planetary-mass objects.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 11/11/2014
These pages are produced and updated on a best effort basis. Consequently, there may be periods when significant lags develop. we apologise in advance for any inconvenience to the reader.