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Session 39 - Observing with HST.
Display session, Tuesday, January 16
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[39.04] Observing with HST IV: New Capabilities with HST in Cycle 6

A. Berman (CSC/STScI), A. Storrs (STScI), W. Workman (CSC/STScI)

Starting in Cycle 6, several new capabilities are available to HST observers. Some of these capabilities, specified as ``Special Requirements'' in the Phase II proposal, can be used to allow certain types of observations to be implemented in a manner which makes more efficient and flexible use of the HST spacecraft time. This can translate directly into more useful time on target for the observer.

One of the most innovative new capabilities is called Reuse Target Offset, which can be used to replace most ``Interactive Acquisitions'' or to replicate the results of an ``Onboard Acquisition''. Using Reuse Target Offset in the latter case, for example, obviates the need for duplicate, time consuming target acquisition exposures in successive visits observing the same target.

Another new capability is a routine to dither the WFPC2 CCD's (i.e., repeating the same image at slightly different pointings). This routine is extremely useful for removing the effects of bad (or ``hot'') pixels when observing extended sources. It also helps minimize the effects of cosmic rays, and returns sub-pixel spatial information. This routine is easier to use than the existing SPATIAL SCAN Special Requirement and requires less time than the POS TARG Special Requirement.

In this paper, we will present these and all of the other new HST capabilities with full examples of when each is most useful.

Program listing for Tuesday