Hubble Status Report - April 2003
The deadline for the Cycle 12 Call for Proposals was January 24, 2003. By that date 1052 proposals were received, 19% of which have a European PI. About half of the proposals are requesting the use of the new Advanced Camera for Survey, ACS. The Time Allocation Committee met on March 24-29. The selection results will be communicated in early April and the new Cycle of observations will begin next July.
The introduction of the on-the-fly re-calibration procedures and a major hardware and software upgrade in the STScI HST Archive, has caused a temporary backlog in the shipment of HST data to the ST-ECF Archive. The backlog was getting critical because the proprietary period of the first GO ACS frames will soon expire. A solution, based on electronic shipment of the data over a high bandwidth connection via ESTEC, was implemented and the backlog is now being cleared. The high bandwidth line was recently installed in ESTEC within the ESAGRID activities, which aim at setting and operating a GRID network among the ESA sites.
A major scientific highlight, based on data taken by a European group lead by A. Vidal-Madjar, was published in the March 13 issue of Nature. The team observed for the first time the atmosphere of an extra-solar planet evaporating into space. The HST ESA Information Centre issued a Science News including a short video animation to illustrate the phenomenon. The News was picked up by a record-breaking number of different media.