Dependence of Image Quality on Sky Position - September 1998
The figures below demonstrate the image quality that observers can expect
from the IRTF telescope at various positions on the sky. All images were
obtained on 11 September 1998, by D. Toomey and W. Vacca, using a K'-band
filter and the Shift & Add Mode of NSFCam at the 0.055 arcsec/pixel plate
scale, and are the result of stacking a large number of 0.1s exposures.
Thus, "seeing" (both dome and atmospheric) effects should be minimal
and these images therefore provide a measure of the true image quality
delivered by the telescope. All images have been rotated so that North is
up and East is left. The red circle has a radius of 0.5 arcsec and is
centered on the highest pixel. The radial profile plot associated with
each image can be found by clicking on the image; it presents the azimuthally
averaged intensity - normalized by the total number of counts in the image
and scaled such that the expected peak value for an "ideal" PSF is unity -
as a function of radius. The dotted line in the radial profile plots
represents the intensity of an ideal PSF for the IRTF mirror.
Note that not all observers should necessarily expect to obtain
point-spread-functions as good as those
presented below: the image quality obtained during exposures substantially
longer than 0.1s will be the result of the convolution of the images below
with the effects of dome and atmospheric seeing; this will result in profiles
that are significantly broader than those presented here.
Two sets of images are available:
Images taken at zenith angles = 30 degrees
Images taken at zenith angles = 60 degrees
An expanded view of each image, as well as radial profile plots,
can be obtained by clicking on the images.
Return to IRTF Home Page