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Observations

Optical and NIR observations were carried out in two rounds at the Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile. The telescopes used were the 1.0m f/7 Swope telescope and the 2.5m f/7.5 Du Pont telescope of the Carnegie observatory. Table gif gives a summary of the two observing runs. The filters and detectors used are listed in Tables gif and gif respectively.

 

 

40'' TEK# tex2html_wrap_inline4209 40'' TEK# tex2html_wrap_inline4211 100 tex2html_wrap_inline4213 IRCAM tex2html_wrap_inline4215
DateObjectDateObjectDateObject
25 Jan 1995 0434-225 17 Feb 1996 0420-263 27 Feb 1997 0503-284
0520-289 0952-224 1048-238
1053-282 1344-241 1103-244
1222-252 1346-252 1215-215
26 Jan 1995 0446-206 18 Feb 1996 0354-263 1251-289
0503-284 1048-238 1344-241
1103-244 1254-268 1323-271
1251-289 20 Feb 1996 0354-263 1346-252
27 Jan 1995 0349-278 0952-224 29 Feb 1996 0344-291
0950-239 1048-238 0349-278
1215-215 1323-271 0354-263
28 Jan 1995 0453-206 21 Feb 1996 0420-263 0446-206
1033-251 1006-214 0503-284
1257-253 1346-252 0938-205
1354-251 22 Feb 1996 0354-263 1048-238
29 Jan 1995 0344-291 0938-205 1103-244
1056-272 1303-215 1126-246
1126-246 23 Feb 1996 0938-205 1215-215
1343-253 1329-257 1323-271
1354-251 1344-241
1346-252
tex2html_wrap_inline4217 : TEK#1, TEK#5, IRCAM are the CCDs and the IR camera used at LCO.
Details are in Table gif.
Table: The observing runs

A large number of twilight flats were taken, both in the evening and in the morning. During the day dome flats were also taken, but these were not used eventually since the quality of the twilight flats was acceptable. An overscan bias region was present on the CCD. Still, a few bias frames were obtained at the beginning of the night and also every few hours during each observing session, just to ensure that the bias level remained constant for the length of the exposures used. Dark current is very low in modern CCD detectors and was neglected. No dark current contribution was later discernible in the data.

Object scheduling was done so that objects were closest to zenith when observed. As far as possible, objects were sandwiched between observations of standard stars. Standard stars from the Standard Areas (SA) 98 and 104 were observed at different air masses for effective calculation of the apparent magnitudes. Though all objects in the sample were meant to be observed during the runs, when only one of two objects close to each other could be observed, the brighter one was preferred. Because of this, a bias in redshift selection of the sample might have crept in with preference having been given to the nearer (brighter) object. It has already been demonstrated (Figure gif) that no radio flux density selection bias has been introduced.

 

 

Filter Bandwidth Central wavelength
micron micron
Visible Johnson's B 0.10 0.44
Cousin's R 0.10 0.65
NIR K' 0.33 2.16
K' is a varient of Johnson's K.
Table: Filters used

 

 

tex2html_wrap4241 tex2html_wrap4242
Detector Size Read noise Pixel size Scale
type pixel tex2html_wrap_inline4229 pixel electrons microns arcsec/pixel
Visible TEK#1 CCDgif 1024 tex2html_wrap_inline4229 1024 8 24 0.7
TEK#5 CCDgif 2048 tex2html_wrap_inline4229 2048 8 24 0.7
NIR HgCdTe array 256 tex2html_wrap_inline4229 256 40gif 40 0.348
Table: Detectors used

Multiple frames of each object were taken with exposure time adjusted to avoid saturation. Each object was also moved around in the frame during successive exposures, so that bad pixels do not affect any particular object in all the frames. The typical total exposures in the tex2html_wrap_inline3807 filters were 60 and 20 minutes respectively. The standard stars were observed in focus with exposures of few to several seconds, and also out of focus with longer exposures so that the bright peak gets distributed into a torus. This is useful for standard stars since one is interested in total magnitudes and not in radial profiles of the stars. The longer exposures also help avoid the effect of false structures being introduced in the image due to the opening and closing of the shutter. The stars were also moved about in the CCD frame.

The procedure adopted was slightly different in the case of IR observations. The sky is brighter in IR so that exposures have to be much shorter to avoid saturation. Exposures of 35 seconds were therefore used. Seven such exposures were taken with the object at the same point within the array. The telescope was then moved a little so that the object shifted within the array and seven more exposures were taken. Several such sets were taken per object. In case the object covered a large part of the IR array, separate sky frame sets were taken between every two object sets. The dark current for the IR detector is not negligible and every day a large number of dark exposures of durations 2, 3, 5 and 35 seconds were taken.

The tex2html_wrap_inline4239 standards used for standardization were HD 38921, Gl 347a and HD 161743 from Elias (1982). These were observed several times at different airmasses throughout the night.


next up previous contents
Next: Calibration Up: Observations: the raw material Previous: The sample