This week on HST

HST Programs: September 26 - October 2, 2016

Program Number Principal Investigator Program Title
13760 Derck L. Massa, Space Science Institute Filling the gap --near UV, optical and near IR extinction
14077 Boris T. Gaensicke, The University of Warwick The frequency and chemical composition of rocky planetary debris around young white dwarfs: Plugging the last gaps
14096 Dan Coe, Space Telescope Science Institute - ESA RELICS: Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey
14098 Harald Ebeling, University of Hawaii Beyond MACS: A Snapshot Survey of the Most Massive Clusters of Galaxies at z>0.5
14119 Luciana C. Bianchi, The Johns Hopkins University Understanding Stellar Evolution of Intermediate-Mass Stars from a New Sample of SiriusB-Like Binaries
14141 Guy Worthey, Washington State University NGSL Extension 1. Hot Stars and Evolved Stars
14153 John P. Hughes, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey Measuring the Mass of El Gordo to Near the Virial Radius
14163 Mickael Rigault, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin Honing Type Ia Supernovae as Distance Indicators, Exploiting Environmental Bias for H0 and w.
14166 Benjamin John Shappee, Carnegie Institution of Washington Whimper of a Bang: Documenting the Final Days of the Nearby Type Ia Supernova 2011fe
14178 Matthew A. Malkan, University of California - Los Angeles WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel Survey: The WISP Deep Fields
14181 S Thomas Megeath, University of Toledo A Snapshot WFC3 IR Survey of Spitzer/Hershel-Identified Protostars in Nearby Molecular Clouds
14216 Robert P. Kirshner, Harvard University RAISIN2: Tracers of cosmic expansion with SN IA in the IR
14227 Casey Papovich, Texas A & M University The CANDELS Lyman-alpha Emission At Reionization (CLEAR) Experiment
14235 Sangmo Tony Sohn, Space Telescope Science Institute Globular Cluster Orbits from HST Proper Motions: Constraining the Formation and Mass of the Milky Way Halo
14240 Bart P. Wakker, University of Wisconsin - Madison Mapping the circumgalactic medium of two large spiral galaxies
14277 John Thomas Stocke, University of Colorado at Boulder Probing Hot Gas in Spiral-Rich Galaxy Groups
14343 Nitya Kallivayalil, The University of Virginia Proper Motion and Internal Kinematics of the SMC: are the Magellanic Clouds bound to one another?
14493 Vincent Bourrier, Observatoire de Geneve UV exploration of two Earth-sized planets with temperate atmospheres
14594 Rich Bielby, Durham Univ. QSAGE: QSO Sightline And Galaxy Evolution
14620 Ryan F Trainor, University of California - Berkeley QSO and Galaxy Growth Probed by Faint Lya-Emitters
14648 Adam Riess, The Johns Hopkins University A New Threshold of Precision, 30 micro-arcsecond Parallaxes and Beyond
14675 Julia Christine Roman-Duval, Space Telescope Science Institute - ESA Metal Evolution and TrAnsport in the Large Magellanic Cloud (METAL): Probing Dust Evolution in Star Forming Galaxies
14713 Raghvendra Sahai, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Binarity and Accretion Activity in AGB Stars with Variable UV and X-Ray Emission
14734 Nitya Kallivayalil, The University of Virginia Milky Way Cosmology: Laying the Foundation for Full 6-D Dynamical Mapping of the Nearby Universe
14756 Amy Simon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program
14767 David Kent Sing, University of Exeter The Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanetary Treasury Program
14786 Benjamin F. Williams, University of Washington Progenitor Masses for Every Nearby Historic Core-Collapse Supernova
14790 Jessica Agarwal, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Investigating the binary nature of active asteroid 288P/300163

Selected highlights

GO 14166: Whimper of a Bang: Documenting the Final Days of the Nearby Type Ia Supernova 2011fe

Supernova 2011fe in M101
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 existence 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 probe this questions through observations of a long-gone supernova, SN 2011fe, a Type Ia supernova discovered in August 2011 in M 101. For many years, one of standard model for those systems has been explosive deflagration of a degenerate star in a mass-transferring binary system with a main-sequence of giant companion. Under that model, ejecta will heat the non-degenerate companion, potentially rendering it visible once the supernova debris have faded. The prime alternative model, a double degenerate, will not leave a visible companion. Moreover, those two models predict different relative abundances of cobalt and iron isotopes, and consequently different light curves for the SNe remnant. The present program aims to use Wide Field Camea 3 to probe the SN2011fe remnant and discriminate between the two progentior models.

GO 14178: 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 13476: Proper Motion and Internal Kinematics of the SMC: are the Magellanic Clouds bound to one another?

The Large Magellanic Cloud (upper left) with the Small Magellanic Cloud (right) and the (foreground) Galactic globular cluster47 Tucanae
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) are the most massive satellites of the Milky Way galaxy. The orbital motions of these systems can be used to probe the mass distribution of Milky Way, and backtracking the orbits can shed light on how the three systems have interacted, In particular, the well known Magellanic Stream, stretching between the two Clouds, is thought to be a product either of interactions between the Clouds, or of ram-stripping of gas from the LMC on its last passage through the Plane of the Milky Way. Understanding the full scope of the interactions demands knowledge of the tangential motions of these systems - that is, proper motion measurements. Given the distances of the Clouds (~50 kpc.), the actual motions amount to only a few milliarcseconds, but the high spatial resolution and high stability of HST imaging makes such measurements possible. Past observing programs (eg GO 11730) have concentrated on the LMC, using the now-defunct ACS High Resolution Camera (ACS/HRC), the Planetary Camera on WFPC2 and the UVIS camera on WFC3 to target known QSOs lying behind the Clouds; the QSOs serve as fixed reference points for absolute astrometry of the numerous foreground LMC/SMC stars. The present program aims to build on those results by targeting 30 newly identified QSOs behind the SMC for WFC3 observations over a two-year span. The new observations should enable astronomers to not only refine the mean motion of the SMC, but also probe the internal rotation and velocity dispersion of stars in the Small Cloud.

GO 13756: Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program

Global map of Jupiter from OPAL's 2015 observations
The gas giants and ice giants in the outer system have extended, dynamic gaseous atmospheres that show a range of phenomena reflecting the underlying composition and cloud structure. These are generally driven by solar insolation, with the consequence that the frequency, scale and range of features diminishes from Jupiter through saturn and Uranus to Neptune. Monitoring the changes in the wide variety of features in these atmospheres can provide insight into the velocity structrue and the energy sources. Hubble OPAL program was established in 2014 to support this type of monitoring campaign. The program targets all four outer planets for imaging with a wide range of broad and narrow-band filters on Wide Field Camera 3. The observations are spaced over two consecutive rotations, providing full longitudinal coverage for each planet.

Past weeks:
page by Neill Reid, updated 23/12/2014
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