Toward precision photometry for the ELT era: The double subgiant branch of NGC 1851 observed with the Gemini/GeMS MCAO system

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/811/2/L15
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
ISSN2041-8205
Volume811
Issue2
Article numberL15
AbstractThe Extremely Large Telescopes currently under construction have a collecting area that is an order of magnitude larger than the present largest optical telescopes. For seeing-limited observations the performance will scale as the collecting area, but with the successful use of adaptive optics (AO), for many applications it will scale as D4 (where D is the diameter of the primary mirror). Central to the success of the ELTs, therefore, is the successful use of multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) which applies a high degree of correction over a field of view larger than the few arcseconds that limits classical AO systems. In this Letter, we report on the analysis of crowded field images taken on the central region of the galactic globular cluster NGC 1851 in the Ks band using the Gemini Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) at the Gemini South Telescope, the only science-grade MCAO system in operation. We use this cluster as a benchmark to verify the ability to achieve precise near-infrared photometry by presenting the deepest Ks photometry in crowded fields ever obtained from the ground. We construct a color-magnitude diagram in combination with the F606W band from the Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys. As well as detecting the "knee" in the lower main sequence at Ks ≃ 20.5, we also detect the double subgiant branch of NGC 1851, which demonstrates the high photometric accuracy of GeMS in crowded fields.
Publication date
PublisherIOP Publishing
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21277366
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Record identifier5d4126ba-6398-4f21-8917-4c942db91d87
Record created2016-03-09
Record modified2016-07-18
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