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Wide Field Camera 3 Early Release Science Program
Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)
is a panchromatic camera that was installed in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) as part of Servicing Mission 4 (SM4).
WFC3 has two cameras covering, respectively, ultraviolet and visual wavelengths (200 to 1,000 nm; the UVIS channel)
and near-infrared wavelengths (900 to 1,700 nm; the IR channel).
Each camera is equipped with a wide range of narrow, medium and
broadband filters, together with low-resolution spectroscopic prisms or "grisms".
WFC3 was originally conceived in 1997 as a backup instrument to ACS (2003 AAS abstract2010 MacKenty SPIE paper).
As a facility instrument, led by the HST Project, there is no science team.
External oversight has been provided by the Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC), which was originally constituted in 1998.
The SOC has therefore been closely involved in the definition, development and characterization of WFC3 since the outset,
and the SOC members have acquired a corresponding familiarity with the scientific potential of this instrument.
More information about the Science Program, relevant publications and the SOC.
In recognition, the STScI director allocated ~210 orbits of Director's Discretionary time to the WFC3 SOC
for challenging science programs designed to test key capabilities of both the UVIS and IR channels.
These orbits were distributed between programs 11359 and
The combined dataset from these programs is referred to as the 'WFC3 Early Release Science (ERS) Program'.
Data from the ERS program were made public as soon as they were deposited into the HST Archive.
The ERS High Level Science Products made available here are based on custom processing of the original dataset. In some cases, this involved the use of more contemporary calibration files than were publicly available at a given time. In others, we employed specialized software to extract measurements of general interest from the images. Several versions of re-processed data are available in some cases. The most recent version is recommended for current use, but earlier versions that correspond to published ERS papers are also included for reference. See the README files for more complete information.