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What We’ve Learned After 20 Years On-Orbit: Advice for Observing With HST’s Advanced Camera for Surveys

Presentation #206.02 in the session New Mission Concepts — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
What We’ve Learned After 20 Years On-Orbit: Advice for Observing With HST’s Advanced Camera for Surveys

The Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) has now been on-orbit and serving as the Hubble’s widest field optical and ultraviolet imagers for 20 years. It also offers other capabilities such as both wide-field slitless grism spectroscopy and polarimetry. As well as for ACS primary observations, it is also frequently used in parallel with other instruments including the spectrographs COS and STIS, and especially with the Wide-Field and Infrared Camera 3 (WFC3), which has both an infrared channel and an optical/UV channel (UVIS) that has a somewhat smaller field of view but somewhat higher resolution than ACS/WFC, and higher UV sensitivity as opposed to the sensitivity of ACS/WFC which is most sensitive in the redder optical wavelengths. Optimizing dither patterns for parts of both detectors when used in parallel are but one of the subjects we address. Over the course of these 20 years of operation, we have accumulated much experience in “best practices” for proposing and observing with ACS, distilling the much larger volume of information from Instrument Science Reports and other publications into a more condensed document in which we give advice on proposing for ACS observations in HST Phase I and on more detailed program design in HST Phase II. We include examples of requirements needing to be specified in Phase I if needed in Phase II. We present this document as a companion to the ACS Instrument Handbook and ACS Data Handbook and include some representative details. It may be accessed at https://hst-docs.stsci.edu/acsoam and will continue to be updated for HST Cycle 30 and future cycles as needed.

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