panic - PANIC (Persson's Auxiliary Nasmyth Infrared Camera)...

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Paul Martini a,b , S. E. Persson a , D. C. Murphy a , C. Birk a , S. A. Shectman a , S. M. Gunnels c , and E. Koch d a Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA; b Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS20; Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; c Paragon Engineering, 18231 Old Ranch Road, Tehachapi, CA 93561, USA; d Dedicated Micro Systems, 632 South Park Rose Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016, USA ABSTRACT PANIC (Persson’s Auxiliary Nasmyth Infrared Camera) is a near-infrared camera designed to operate at any one of the f /11 folded ports of the 6.5m Magellan telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. The instrument is built around a simple, all-refractive design that reimages the Magellan focal plane to a plate scale of 0.125 pixel 1 onto a Rockwell 1024x1024 HgCdTe detector. The design goals for PANIC included excellent image quality to sample the superb seeing measured with the Magellan telescopes, high throughput, a relatively short construction time, and low cost. PANIC has now been in regular operation for over one year and has proved to be highly reliable and produce excellent images. The best recorded image quality has been 0 2 FWHM. Keywords: Infrared, Imagers, Astronomical Instruments 1. INSTRUMENT OVERVIEW Considerable interest in the rapid development of a near-infrared (NIR) camera for the Magellan Project was generated after first light for the 6.5m Magellan I (Walter Baade) telescope in September 2000. The main requirements included excellent image quality to sample the superb seeing observed at Magellan, high-throughput, and a simple design that could be completed relatively quickly. In addition, the instrument was envisioned to eventually occupy one of the folded ports (formerly known as auxiliary Nasmyth ports) and thus remain available for use at all times. The ready availability of the camera during any observing run was motivated by one of the science goals: time-critical observations of temporally variable objects, such as supernovaeand gamma ray bursts. Scientific interests of astronomers at the Carnegie Observatories and other members of the Magellan consortium included follow-up observations of interesting objects discovered in wide-field infrared surveys on smaller telescopes, high-redshift quasars and clusters of galaxies, counterparts to Galactic X-ray sources, and searches for the galaxies responsible for quasar absorption systems. These science goals led to PANIC (Persson’s Auxiliary Nasmyth Infrared Camera), an all-refractive, 1 2 3 μ m camera that reimages the f 11 input beam of the 6.5m Magellan telescopes to produce a plate scale of 0 125 pixel 1 on its Rockwell HAWAII HgCdTe focal plane array (1024x1024 18.5 μ m pixels). Use of a compact, all-refractive design and adoption of the electronics and control software from the recently completed wide-field, NIR camera WIRC 1 minimized development costs and led to a relatively short construction time. Further author information: (Send correspondence to P.M., S.E.P.)
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panic - PANIC (Persson's Auxiliary Nasmyth Infrared Camera)...

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