Search form

AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement #74

AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement #74 10/99

[Mailed from aas.org at 4:30pm 12 OCT 99]

CONTENTS

  1. NEWSLETTER CORRECTION
  2. ATLANTA MEETING DEADLINE REMINDER
  3. ROCHESTER TOPICAL SESSION PROPOSALS DUE
  4. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR NSF'S DIVISION OF ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES
  5. NSF MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION COMPETITION
  6. REAL-TIME LEONID METEOR STORM TRACKING
  7. WIRE STAR CAMERA CONTINUATION POSSIBLE

_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

1. NEWSLETTER CORRECTION

The name of Bruce Partridge, Education Officer was inadvertently omitted from the list of election candidates published in the October Newsletter. We apologize for the mistake.

_________________________________________________________

2. ATLANTA MEETING DEADLINE REMINDER
11 - 15 January 2000 -- Atlanta, GA
http://www.aas.org

Abstract Deadline: Tuesday, 26 October 1999, 9pm ET
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, 8 December 1999
Housing Requests: Wednesday, 8 December 1999

The Atlanta Final Program will be mailed to all who register by 8 December 1999.

________________________________________________________

3. ROCHESTER TOPICAL SESSION PROPOSALS DUE
Proposals Due: 15 November 1999

Two days of the four-day Rochester Meeting are available for Topical Sessions. Members interested in organizing Sessions are invited to submit proposals. This is a great opportunity to highlight your area of astronomy for the rest of the meeting attendees.

Further information is available at: http://www.aas.org/meetings/topguide.html

_________________________________________________________

4. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR NSF'S DIVISION OF ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES

The new Strategic Plan for the Division of Astronomical  Sciences (AST), in the Directorate for Mathematical and  Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation  (NSF), is now publicly available on AST's Web page,

http://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/strategicplan/index.htm

The Division has asked the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) to provide advice on reconciling this Strategic Plan with the report of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee (AASC) when the latterdocument becomes available.

_________________________________________________________

5. NSF MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION COMPETITION
Joe Burt, OIA

The solicitation for the 2000 Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) competition is now publicly available on the NSF website http://www.nsf.gov. The publication number is 99-168. You can see the solicitation in the NSF online document system or on the OIA homepage.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 18 January 2000. Please note that this deadline is about one month earlier than last year.

All MRI proposals must be submitted via FastLane. This year we are requiring the signed cover sheet and all accompanying documents (letter of cost sharing commitment, letters of support, manufacturers' quotes, etc.) electronically by scanning these documents into the Supplementary Documents section of the FastLane proposal preparation module and submitting them along with the proposal. This is a major change in timing since proposers will have to submitthe signed cover sheet electronically with the proposal rather than five business days later in hard copy.

If you have any questions about the solicitation, please contact the Office of Integrative Activities at 703-306-1040 or mri@nsf.gov.

_________________________________________________________

6. REAL-TIME LEONID METEOR STORM TRACKING

The Aerospace Corporation's Space Operations Support Office (SOPSO) is planning to collect data on the 1999 Leonid Meteor storm and disseminate it in real time on the World Wide Web. Users can monitor the storm's activity by visiting http://WWW.LEONIDSTORM.COM. Data from various well-qualified observes will be displayed in graphical form (ZHR, raw counts, etc.) along with the time of the predicted peak. Real time summaries of the storm's progress, and anecdotal reports of unusual events such as fireballs, etc. will also be provided.

At the present time we have commitments from a number of observations teams including both ground and aircraft-based campaigns. Data need not be submitted as ZHR. Data in any uniform manner which will indicate relative strength of the storm are acceptable. If you would be interested in contributing your data real time, please contact Dr. David K. Lynch or Dr. William H. Ailor at The Aerospace Corporation (david.k.lynch@aero.org, william.h.ailor@aero.org). If you will be displaying your own real time data and do not wish to
contribute to our efforts, we will be happy to include a link to your site.

_________________________________________________________

7. WIRE STAR CAMERA CONTINUATION POSSIBLE
Comment by end of October 1999

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you are aware, the WIRE satellite, whose primary scientific mission has not succeeded, has nevertheless been used to perform time resolved stellar photometry and, in particular, stellar seismology using the 5 cm star-tracker telescope and its associated CCD camera.

The WIRE star-tracker presents a unique opportunity to the astronomy community to utilize the CCD camera from a stabilized platform in space. At present, there are no plans to continue WIRE astronomical observations past the beginning of the next calendar year.

However, if there is sufficient interest in the community to make use of the WIRE satellite star-tracker for continued astronomical observations, NASA Headquarters is prepared to provide an opportunity through the ADP program.

Please read the attached short description of the capabilities of the WIRE star-tracker. Most importantly, if you think that you would be interested in observations with this instrument, please send me a brief note before the end of October indicating what you have in mind.

Not only does this letter not commit NASA to implement an observing program with WIRE, nor would your note commit you to participate in such a program.

Sincerely yours,


Philippe Crane
WIRE Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters, Code SR
300 E St. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20546
Tel: 202/358 0377
Fax: 202/358 3097
Email: pcrane@hq.nasa.gov

WIRE Star Camera Technical Information

The WIRE star camera is a Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation model CT-601. It consists of a 52 mm aperture feeding light to a 5122 SiTe CCD. The field of view is 8 x 8 degrees, with a pixel size of 1 arc minute. The gain is approximately 15 electrons/ADU, and the bandpass (which is unfiltered) is roughly V+R. Data is digitized using a 16-bit ADC. The limiting magnitude of the star camera is
approximately 6, and pointing is severely degraded beyond this limit.

The star camera can be operated in one of two modes. First, single-target mode, where an 8 x 8 pixel box is returned to the ground surrounding a single target. In single-target mode, the observing cadence is 10 Hz. This mode is essentially absolute photometry, and as such is dependent on the pointing characteristics of the satellite (since the CCD FOV is asymmetrically vignetted) and the drift characteristics of the star camera itself. When observing bright stars (m < 2), we have observed little drift: the rms pointing precision of
WIRE typically is better than one arc second. Non-Poisson noise in the data appears to be primarily due to thermal drifts in the detector, which for brighter targets (2nd magnitude) contributes a signal less than the Poisson noise. Temperature information is available from a thermistor mounted on the rear of the CCD assembly, should observers wish to attempt correcting for thermal drifts. The second operating mode is multi-target, where up to five targets can be observed simultaneously, though the observing cadence drops to 1 Hz. In this mode, an 8 x 8 pixel box around each star is returned, and relatively crude ensemble photometry can be performed.

For observations of a mv = 0 solar-like star, we obtain an integrated count rate of approximately 1.2 x 10**6 electrons/sec. The PSF of the instrument is such that essentially all of the stellar flux is contained in the central 4 pixels of the 64-pixel box, and an annulus around the outer portion of the box can be used for background subtraction. For such a star, the rms noise from all sources in the extracted aperture photometry is approximately 1.3 - 1.5 millimagnitudes.

_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

An AAS Electronic Announcement is mailed to all members around the 10th of each month. Included are important items that do not fit into the schedule of the AAS Newsletter.

Items for possible inclusion in this announcement series should be sent to johnson@aas.org. Keep announcement short and refer readers to sources of additional information.

Address corrections should be sent to address@aas.org.

Share: