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Extragalactic Fields Optimized for Adaptive Optics

I. Damjanov, R. Abraham, K. Glazebrook, P. McGregor, F. Rigaut, P. McCarthy, J. Brinchmann, J.-C. Cuillandre, Y. Mellier, H. J. McCracken, P. Hudelot, D. Monet

In this article we present the coordinates of 67 55' × 55' patches of sky that have the rare combination of both high stellar surface density (≥0.5 arcmin-2 with 13 < R < 16.5 mag) and low extinction (E(B - V)≤0.1). These fields are ideal for adaptive-optics-based follow-up of extragalactic targets. One region of sky, situated near Baade’s Window, contains most of the patches we have identified. Our optimal field, centered at R.A.: 7h24m3s, decl.: -1°27'15", has an additional advantage of being accessible from both hemispheres. We propose a figure of merit for quantifying real-world adaptive optics performance and use this to analyze the performance of multiconjugate adaptive optics in these fields. We also compare our results with those that would be obtained in existing deep fields. In some cases adaptive optics observations undertaken in the fields given in this article would be orders of magnitude more efficient than equivalent observations undertaken in existing deep fields.

Astronomical Techniques, Astronomical Instrumentation, Astrophysical Data, Galaxies

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume 123, Number 901, Page 348
2011 March

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia