Number 31, June 2004
Contents: 1) Expanded Sky Coverage for FUSE Observations 2) MDRS new Default Aperture for Bright Target (HIST) Observations 3) "Call for Proposals" for Cycle 6 to be Released June 30 4) CalFUSE v3.0 Coming Soon 5) Final Program for Victoria Meeting Posted 6) FUSE Celebrates Five Years in Orbit 1) Expanded Sky Coverage for FUSE Observations A significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to improve the sky availability of the FUSE instrument was reached in April 2004. Taking advantage of new operational procedures and scheduling software, we have improved the target visibility in of all parts of the sky and, in particular, eliminated the zone of near-zero visibility at low declinations centered at about 12 hours of right ascension. These improvements are due to the routine use of roll offset observations and the ability to reliably predict and utilize orbits for which attitude control is marginal for short intervals during target occultation. These new operational procedures have been successfully used since April -04. An updated version of the target visibility tool will be available for Cycle 6 proposal preparation. The area of the sky available for Survey targets will also be expanded for Cycle 6. 2) MDRS New Default Aperture for Bright Target (HIST) Observations Effective this month, MDRS is the default aperture for bright target (histogram mode) observations. High count-rate observations in the LWRS aperture since the start of the mission have measurably degraded the detector performance in certain LWRS wavelength regions. This policy was adopted in order to minimize further charge depletion in those regions of the detectors, preserving the sensitivity of the LWRS for faint targets. Targets too faint for FUV PEAK-UPs require the LWRS aperture. FUSE observing programs from previous proposal cycles with pending histogram observations will be granted additional exposure time to compensate for the lower effective throughout of the MDRS aperture. The PIs of these programs will be contacted and given the opportunity to comment on the impact of this new policy on their programs. Some observations will remain assigned to the LWRS when justified by the scientific objectives (e.g. high-precision spectrophotometry). Requests to observe bright targets in the LWRS aperture in Cycle 6 (and future) proposals must be strongly justified (for instance, stringent spectrophotometric requirements). 3) "Call for Proposals" for Cycle 6 to be Released by June 30 The addendum to the ROSS NRA for the FUSE Cycle 6 GI proposals will be released on or before June 30, 2004, on the FUSE GI web site. Notices of Intent to propose will be due on August 6 and proposals will be due on September 17, 2004. Cycle 6 begins on April 1, 2005. As in Cycle 5, there will be three proposal categories: Legacy, Standard, and Survey. For details, please see the FUSE GI web site at: http://fusegi.pha.jhu.edu 4) CalFUSE v3.0 Coming Soon The newest version of the FUSE calibration pipeline, CalFUSE v3.0.7, will be released to the general community on or about 15 July 2004. (The software is ready; we're finalizing a set of flux- and wavelength-calibration files.) At the same time, we will begin delivering data processed with CalFUSE v3.0 to the MAST archive. MAST will be able to supply both extracted spectra and IDF, or intermediate data files. The IDF files provide FUSE data in the form of a calibrated photon-event list, allowing users to examine, filter, and combine data from multiple exposures without re-running the pipeline. 5) Final Program for Victoria Meeting Posted The scientific program for the upcoming conference: "Astrophysics in the Far Ultraviolet - Five Years of Discovery with FUSE," has been posted on the conference web site (http://www.uvcs.uvic.ca/conf/FUSE/). Preparations are proceeding apace and promises to provide an exciting meeting. We look forward to seeing you in Victoria in early August! 6) FUSE Celebrates Five Years in Orbit On June 24, 2004, FUSE passed the milestone of 5 years of on-orbit operations. To commemorate this event, several web pages have been posted under the "Headlines" section of the FUSE web page, including a launch day retrospective page and 5-year statistics for the mission. For details, please see the FUSE home page. http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu
The Observer's Electronic Newsletter is published by the FUSE project and is aimed at the FUSE user community.
Editor: B-G Andersson, FUSE Guest Investigator Officer.
The FUSE Project is managed by the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Astrophysical Sciences in Baltimore, MD, for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The FUSE Principal Investigator is Dr. Warren Moos, the FUSE Program Manager at JHU is Mr. Randy Ewing, and the NASA Project Scientist for FUSE is Dr. George Sonneborn.
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