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Title: Andromeda (M31) optical and infrared disk survey. I. Insights in wide-field near-IR surface photometry

We present wide-field near-infrared J and K{sub s} images of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken with WIRCam at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope as part of the Andromeda Optical and Infrared Disk Survey. This data set allows simultaneous observations of resolved stars and near-infrared (NIR) surface brightness across M31's entire bulge and disk (within R = 22 kpc), permitting a direct test of the stellar composition of near-infrared light in a nearby galaxy. Here we develop NIR observation and reduction methods to recover a uniform surface brightness map across the 3° × 1° disk of M31 with 27 WIRCam fields. Two sky-target nodding strategies are tested, and we find that strictly minimizing sky sampling latency cannot improve background subtraction accuracy to better than 2% of the background level due to spatio-temporal variations in the NIR skyglow. We fully describe our WIRCam reduction pipeline and advocate using flats built from night-sky images over a single night, rather than dome flats that do not capture the WIRCam illumination field. Contamination from scattered light and thermal background in sky flats has a negligible effect on the surface brightness shape compared to the stochastic differences in background shape between sky and galaxy disk fields, which aremore » ∼0.3% of the background level. The most dramatic calibration step is the introduction of scalar sky offsets to each image that optimizes surface brightness continuity. Sky offsets reduce the mean surface brightness difference between observation blocks from 1% to <0.1% of the background level, though the absolute background level remains statistically uncertain to 0.15% of the background level. We present our WIRCam reduction pipeline and performance analysis to give specific recommendations for the improvement of NIR wide-field imaging methods.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6 (Canada)
  2. Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corp., Kamuela, HI 96743 (United States)
  3. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  4. Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam (Germany)
  5. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340258
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCURACY; BRIGHTNESS; CALIBRATION; CAPTURE; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; GALAXIES; ILLUMINANCE; IMAGES; INFRARED RADIATION; MAPS; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; NIGHT SKY; PHOTOMETRY; RECOMMENDATIONS; REDUCTION; STARS; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; SURFACES; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION