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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of precipitable water vapour measurements made with an optical echelle spectrograph and an infrared radiometer at Las Campanas Observatory
Author(s): Richard R. Querel; David A. Naylor; Joanna Thomas-Osip; Gabriel Prieto; Andrew McWilliam
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Paper Abstract

We present simultaneous precipitable water vapour (PWV) measurements made at the Las Campanas Observatory in late 2007 using an Infrared Radiometer for Millimetre Astronomy (IRMA) and the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) optical spectrograph. Opacity due to water vapour is the primary concern for ground based infrared astronomy. IRMA has been developed to measure the emission of rotational transitions of water vapour across a narrow spectral region centred around 20 μm, using a 0.1 m off-axis parabolic mirror and a sophisticated atmospheric model to retrieve PWV. In contrast, the MIKE instrument is used in conjunction with the 6.5 m Magellan Clay telescope, and determines the PWV through absorption measurements of water vapour lines in the spectra of telluric standard stars. With its high spectral resolution, MIKE is able to measure absorption from optically thin water vapour lines and can derive PWV values using a simple, single layer atmospheric model. In an attempt to improve the MIKE derived PWV measurements, we explore the potential of fitting a series of MIKE water vapour line measurements, having different opacities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701457 (11 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789365
Show Author Affiliations
Richard R. Querel, Univ. of Lethbridge (Canada)
David A. Naylor, Univ. of Lethbridge (Canada)
Joanna Thomas-Osip, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
Gabriel Prieto, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
Andrew McWilliam, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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