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The Bad Astronomer
2002-Mar-07, 09:20 PM
I just received a press release saying the Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed on board Hubble. I think that's great, but what I am posting about is that when they placed ACS on board, they had to remove the Faint Object Camera.

I suppose I am a bit melancholy about that; I got my PhD with the FOC. I spent years figuring out how to use the unusual instrument, but eventually got things under control. For nearly two years after the mirror problem was discovered with Hubble, all I had to work with were two somewhat blurred images of the ring around supernova 1987A. Eventually, we got more data, and I was able to analyze how the ring was fading with time. For those interested, I have images here (http://www.badastronomy.com/info/pix.html), and you can read about SN87A on my Bitesize pages (http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/sn87a_discovery.html), where I have a series describing how astronomy changed that day in February of 1987.

Progress. The new camera will provide amazing pictures, better even than Hubble has produced for the past ten years. Still, even though the FOC was a balky device, with a million weird foibles... well, I won't exactly miss it, but it's weird, y'know?

Roy Batty
2002-Mar-07, 09:55 PM
By all accounts so far the installation was a great success. Hey you'll get a chance to physically see it again (as opposed with it) when they bring it back down?
I substitute my usual smilie with your great link hee hee!
http://www.badastronomy.com/pix/smile2.jpg

Chip
2002-Mar-08, 12:13 AM
Phil,
So you discovered the face on (in) SN1987A!
http://www.badastronomy.com/pix/smile2.jpg

That's up there with Margaret Geller's "stickman" - which popped up while she was mapping galaxies within the largest structures of the universe:

http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues01/jun01/images/galactic_stick_man_jpg.html

My Dad waxes poetically sometimes about a type of "ram air turbine" which he helped develop for Air Research in the 1950s. It saved pilot's lives from flameouts, but it's obsolete now.

Chip

Chuck
2002-Mar-08, 12:55 AM
What will they do with the old camera? Smithsonian? eBay?

ToSeek
2002-Mar-08, 01:26 PM
On 2002-03-07 19:55, Chuck wrote:
What will they do with the old camera? Smithsonian? eBay?


They've actually reused some of the parts from other instruments that have been removed from HST:

http://hubble.nasa.gov/technology/reuse-hardware.html

(Edited to make a more definite statement once I found the link.)

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-03-08 08:30 ]</font>

ToSeek
2002-Mar-08, 01:33 PM
What I also find interesting is that COSTAR (Hubble's "contact lenses") is no longer being used since all the instruments now on Hubble have their own correction built-in. However, COSTAR is going to sit up there until the next servicing mission (SM4), when it will be replaced with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS).

ToSeek
2002-Mar-08, 02:11 PM
Celebrating the FOC (http://www.cosmiverse.com/space03080203.html)

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Mar-09, 02:54 AM
That's a nice article. I met Peter Jakobsen many years ago; he was the one who planned many of the FOC observations, including the two I mentioned above.

The original Wide Field/Planetary Camera chassis is being reused for WFPC3, which will go on board in the next servicing mission. It's being built at Goddard, where I used to work. I know the guy who is in charge of that operation, and he let me take a look at one of the detectors from WFPC. Weird. I used that camera!

I hope FOC winds up in a museum somewhere. I emailed Peter, but haven't heard back yet.

ToSeek
2003-Apr-30, 03:45 PM
Advanced Camera for Surveys kicks derriere (http://www.floridatoday.com/news/space/stories/2003a/043003space.htm)

13x better at doing surverys than WFPC II.

ToSeek
2003-May-07, 04:54 PM
More good stuff from the Advanced Camera for Surveys (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=11469)

ToSeek
2003-May-07, 05:01 PM
More detail from Sky and Telescope (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_949_1.asp): most sensitive visible-light photo ever taken.

Gsquare
2003-May-08, 04:13 AM
...
Eventually, we got more data, and I was able to analyze how the ring was fading with time. For those interested, [url=http://www.badastronomy.com/info/pix.html]



Awesome images. One question on dimunation.
Has the main (inner) ring begun to brighten as expected due to ejecta finally reaching the gaseous main ring? What's the latest? Maybe ACS can help.

G^2

nebularain
2003-May-08, 07:51 PM
More detail from Sky and Telescope (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_949_1.asp): most sensitive visible-light photo ever taken.

Awesome! Great write-up on this.

Did you check out the image of the globular cluster from the Andromeda Galaxy? :o That is amazing!