Late Breaking: The Final Frontier (Field)

C. Christian, carolc@stsci.edu, and the Frontier Fields Team

Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) is a Director’s Discretionary Time campaign designed to probe as deep as is feasible with the Hubble Space Telescope. The strategy has been to use the gravitational lensing of six strongly lensing galaxy clusters to boost detectability of high redshift objects as described in a previous newsletter article by J. Lotz, N. Reid, and K. Sembach.

The final Abell 370 visit of the HFF program executed successfully on September 11, 2016, around 6 p.m. local (Eastern Standard) time. The data arrived safely onto disks at the Institute and processing and calibration began immediately.

Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys observation of Abell 370 in July 2009.

The HFF observations probed objects with redshifts out to and beyond z ∼ 10. Approximately 900 orbits were devoted to WFC3 and ACS observations of the clusters and parallel fields. Several teams discovered supernovae, cataloged extremely distant galaxies, measured globular clusters around the lensing clusters, and constructed a suite of theoretical lens models. More than 90 publications have resulted, and hundreds of copies of the images have appeared in exhibits, presentations, websites, and blogs. The program was a huge success, digging deeply into the performance and calibration of the Hubble instruments. By any measure, HFF is a huge achievement by the team and the community. A more in-depth article will be forthcoming in a future Newsletter issue.