18 July 2016 Lessons from and methods for surveying large areas with the Hubble Space Telescope
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Abstract
Although the imagers on the Hubble Space Telescope only provide fields of view of a few square arc minutes, the telescope has been extensively used to conduct large surveys. These range from relatively shallow mappings in a single filter, multi-filter and multi-epoch surveys, and a series of increasingly deep exposures in several carefully selected fields. HST has also conducted extensive “parallel” surveys either coordinated with a prime instrument (typically using two cameras together) or as “pure” parallel observations to capture images of areas on the sky selected by another science programs (typically spectroscopic observations). Recently, we have tested an approach permitting much faster mapping with the WFC3/IR detector under GYRO pointing control and avoiding the overhead associated with multiple target observations. This results in a four to eight fold increase in mapping speed (at the expense of shallower exposures). This approach enables 250-300 second exposures (reaching H~25th magnitude) covering one square degree in 100 orbits.
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John W. MacKenty, John W. MacKenty, Ivelina Momcheva, Ivelina Momcheva, } "Lessons from and methods for surveying large areas with the Hubble Space Telescope", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99101E (18 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233832; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233832
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