Volume 454, Number 3, August II 2006
|Page(s)||1029 - 1045|
|Section||Instruments, observational techniques, and data processing|
|Published online||17 July 2006|
Ground-based CCD astrometry with wide field imagers
I. Observations just a few years apart allow decontamination of field objects from members in two globular clusters
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, MS-108, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX-77005, USA e-mail: email@example.com
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
4 Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital 263129, India e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 April 2006
This paper is the first of a series of papers in which we will apply the methods we have developed for high-precision astrometry (and photometry) with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to the case of wide-field ground-based images. In particular, we adapt the software originally developed for WFPC2 to ground-based, wide field images from the WFI at the ESO 2.2 m telescope. In this paper, we describe in details the new software, we characterize the WFI geometric distortion, discuss the adopted local transformation approach for proper-motion measurements, and apply the new technique to two-epoch archive data of the two closest Galactic globular clusters: NGC 6121 (M 4) and NGC 6397. The results of this exercise are more than encouraging. We find that we can achieve a precision of ~7 mas (in each coordinate) in a single exposure for a well-exposed star, which allows a very good cluster-field separation in both M 4, and NGC 6397, with a temporal baseline of only 2.8, and 3.1 years, respectively.
Key words: astrometry / globular clusters: individual: NGC 6397 / globular clusters: individual: NGC 6121 (M 4) / techniques: image processing
© ESO, 2006
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