Jan 032014

The Frontier Fields will be a highlight of next week’s AAS Meeting near Washington, D.C.  Visit the HST booth and chat with us!

Here are some of the ways you can experience the Frontier Fields data next week:

  • Monday, 8:30 am:  Bob Williams gives the Kavali Foundation Lecture on The Hubble Deep Field and its Legacy
  • Tuesday,  9am-6pm:  7 Frontier Fields posters in 254. Surveys and Large Programs
    • 254.01 – The HST Frontier Fields  – J. Lotz et al.
    • 254.02 – The HST Frontier Fields: Science Data Pipeline, Products, and First Data Release – A. Koekemoer et al.
    • 254.03 – The HST Frontier Fields: DrizzlePac Workflow  – R. Avila et al.
    • 254.04 – The HST Frontier FIelds: Gravitational Lensing Models Release  – D. Coe et al.
    • 254.05 – The Frontier Fields Supernovae Survey  – S. Rodney
    • 254.06 – First results from the HST Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space (GLASS) – X. Wang et al.
    • 254.07 – The Ultraviolet Frontier: Deep near-UV imaging of the Hubble Frontier Fields – B. Siana
  • Tuesday, 10am:  Spitzer Special Session  (talks) -
    • 213.03 – Pushing the Frontiers to z>10 with Spitzer Space Telescope — P. Capak
  • Tuesday , 2:15pm:  Press release
  • Wednesday,  5pm:  NASA Special Presentations, booth #224, The Frontier Fields – J. Lotz

We’d love to see you at the press release, talks, poster session and HST booth!

 Posted by at 5:08 pm
Dec 052013

The lensing maps for all six Frontier Fields clusters were released November 27, 2013.  The MAST lensing model web site provides

  • interactive interfaces for exploring the mass (kappa), shear (gamma), and magnification maps pre-computed at z = 1, 2, 4, and 9
  • a tool to deliver magnification estimates with uncertainties from all models at a given RA, DEC, and redshift
  • direct access to the lensing models.

These models were produced by five independent groups:

  • M. Bradac (PI)  A. Hoag, and collaborators
  • Clusters as TelescopeS Team (CATS):  H. Ebeling (PI), J. Richard, M. Limousin, and collaborators
  • J. Merten (co-PI) ,  A. Zitrin (co-PI), and collaborators
  • K. Sharon (PI), T. Johnson, and collaborators
  • L. Williams (PI) and collaborators

We hope the community sees these models as valuable resources.  If you find them useful, please acknowledge these map makers according to the instructions at the bottom of the web site.  Thank you!

Here’s just one example of what you can see with the interactive viewer for MACSJ0416.1-2403, of which data will be coming soon!  Clicking on the image below will take you directly to the interactive viewer.

Sharon, et al. lensing models of MACSJ0416.1-2403, showing z = 1, 4, 9.

K. Sharon, T Johnson, et al. magnification maps of MACSJ0416.1-2403, showing z = 1 (blue), 2 (green), 9 (red).

You can now go explore all of the Frontier Fields cluster lensing maps!

 Posted by at 9:00 am
Oct 162013

Thanks to the combined powers of Hubble and gravitational lensing, the Frontier Fields will be the deepest images of the cosmos ever obtained.  But to fully understand these images, we need to account and correct for the observed gravitational lensing.

Five independent teams worked all summer on lensing maps for the six Frontier Fields clusters.  We have been ingesting these and now have the Abell 2744 lensing models ready for the community in time for the first observations October 25!

Users may download the models directly or use our web interface to calculate magnifications with uncertainties for any lensed galaxy they find given its RA, Dec, and redshift.  This will provide users with multiple magnification estimates derived independently from the five teams.

To whet your appetite, the Abell 2744 magnification maps for a lensed source at z = 9 are shown below.  Four of the models assume that light traces mass, while three do not.

The Frontier Fields lensing models for Abell 2744.

The Frontier Fields lensing models for Abell 2744.

These models are based on a common set of input data, including pre-Frontier-Fields archival HST imaging and a common set of lensed galaxies.  The models cover regions constrained by strongly lensed, multiply-imaged galaxies within the HST ACS fields-of-view of the cluster cores.

For complete information about the Frontier Fields lensing models, see http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/frontier/lensmodels/.

We will be releasing the models for the remaining clusters in the coming weeks.

Are you ready to see the distant universe through nature’s telescopes?

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Apr 152013

Experts have converged in Baltimore to discuss the most recent and exciting results in cluster lensing. You can watch the presentations live at:


This morning we had a very interesting presentation on MACSJ0717 by Elinor Medezinski:

The Extreme Case of MACSJ0717 from Recent CLASH Lensing Work

Johan Richard and Massimo Meneghetti spoke about the challenges involved with modelling the magnification curves for high-z galaxies in the Frontier Fields.

We will hear from Dan Coe about the Frontier Fields (and other stuff ) on Wednesday:

The Next Frontiers of Gravitational Lensing.

The videos will be posted soon.

Or watch live and see what’s happening now!


 Posted by at 1:50 pm
Apr 112013

We are gearing up for the HST Frontier Fields Lensing Map Seminar on April 18 at STScI!  We’ll be bringing together the community’s top lensing experts to discuss the challenges and strategies for modelling the Frontier Field clusters.   This seminar will immediately follow the Cluster Lensing Workshop April 15-17th,  during which the latest lensing science results will be presented.

We have speakers lined up and suggested discussion points listed on the seminar web page.   Remote participation via telecon or Skype is possible.   The presentations will be posted online as a community resource. Please see our seminar web page for complete information.   If you would like to participate or have discussion topics,  please email Jennifer Lotz.

We are looking forward to it!

 Posted by at 8:55 am
Feb 042013

After a great deal of consideration and deliberation, we have narrowed our candidates down to four clusters, to be observed in the first two years!

They are:

  • MACS0717.5+3745
  • Abell370
  • Abell2744
  • MACS0416.1-2403

The final two clusters are still being considered and evaluated, and we plan to make a final announcement about these within the next few weeks.  If you have any last minute ideas for what the last two clusters should be, let us know by emailing us at frontierfields@stsci.edu.

We are now soliciting proposals to create gravitational lensing magnification maps to be made available to the community. Please see the Request for Proposals, posted on our web site, for complete details.

Finally, we now have a Frequently Asked Questions page on our web site. If you don’t see an answer to your burning question, let us know either by commenting here or emailing us!