Astrometric Calibration of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign

Thomas L. Hayward*, Beth A. Biller, Michael C. Liu, Eric L. Nielsen, Zahed Wahhaj, Mark Chun, Christ Ftaclas, Markus Hartung, Douglas W. Toomey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We describe the astrometric calibration of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. The Campaign requires a relative astromefric accuracy of approximate to 20 mas across multiyear timescales in order to distinguish true companions from background stars by verifying common proper motion and parallax with their parent stars. The calibration consists of a correction for instrumental optical image distortion, plus on-sky imaging of astrometric fields to determine the pixel scale and image orientation. We achieve an accuracy of less than or similar to 7 mas between the center and edge of the 18" NICI field, meeting the 20 mas requirement. Most of the Campaign data in the Gemini Science Archive are accurate to this level but we identify a number of anomalies and present methods to correct the errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1125
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number946
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • DISK
  • FITS


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