Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project: Unraveling Tarantula's Web. I. Observational Overview and First Results

Sabbi, E., Anderson, J., Lennon, D. J., van der Marel, R. P., Aloisi, A., Boyer, M. L., Cignoni, M., de Marchi, G., de Mink, S. E., Evans, C. J., Gallagher, J. S., III, Gordon, K., Gouliermis, D. A., Grebel, E. K., Koekemoer, A. M., Larsen, S. S., Panagia, N., Ryon, J. E., Smith, L. J., Tosi, M., & Zaritsky, D.
2013, The Astronomical Journal, 146, 53

The Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project (HTTP) is an ongoing panchromatic imaging survey of stellar populations in the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud that reaches into the sub-solar mass regime (<0.5 M ⊙). HTTP utilizes the capability of the Hubble Space Telescope to operate the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 in parallel to study this remarkable region in the near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared spectral regions, including narrow-band Hα images. The combination of all these bands provides a unique multi-band view. The resulting maps of the stellar content of the Tarantula Nebula within its main body provide the basis for investigations of star formation in an environment resembling the extreme conditions found in starburst galaxies and in the early universe. Access to detailed properties of individual stars allows us to begin to reconstruct the temporal and spatial evolution of the stellar skeleton of the Tarantula Nebula over space and time on a sub-parsec scale. In this first paper we describe the observing strategy, the photometric techniques, and the upcoming data products from this survey and present preliminary results obtained from the analysis of the initial set of near-infrared observations. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.


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