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Proceedings Paper

Seeing statistics at the upgraded 3.8m UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT)
Author(s): Marc S. Seigar; Andrew J. Adamson; Nicholas P. Rees; Timothy G. Hawarden; Malcolm J. Currie; Timothy C. Chuter
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Paper Abstract

From 1991 until 1997, the 3.8m UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) underwent a programme of upgrades aimed at improving its intrinsic optical performance. This resulted in images with a FWHM of 0."17 at 2.2 μm in September 1998. To understand and maintain the improvements to the delivered image quality since the completion of the upgrades programme, we have regularly monitored the overall atmospheric seeing, as measured by radial displacements of supaperture images (i.e. seeing-generated focus fluctuations), and the delivered image diameters. The latter have been measured and recorded automatically since the beginning of 2001 whenever the facility imager UFTI (UKIRT Fast Track Imager) has been in use. In this paper we report the results of these measurements. We investigate the relation between the delivered image diameter and the RMS atmospheric seeing (as measured by focus fluctuations, mentioned above). We find that the best seeing occurs in the second half of the night, generally after 2am HST and that the best seeing occurs in the summer between the months of July and September. We also find tha the relationship between Zrms and delivered image diameter is uncertain. As a result Zrms frequently predicts a larger FWHM than that measured in the images. Finally, we show that there is no correlation between near-infrared seeing measured at UKIRT and sub-mm seeing measured at the Caltech Submillimetre Observatory (CSO).

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460604
Show Author Affiliations
Marc S. Seigar, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Andrew J. Adamson, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Nicholas P. Rees, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Timothy G. Hawarden, Astronomy Technology Ctr./Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Malcolm J. Currie, Starlink/Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Timothy C. Chuter, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4844:
Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III
Peter J. Quinn, Editor(s)

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