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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

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, Page 348
March 2011

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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