The performance of the blue prime focus large binocular camera at the large binocular telescope
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
5 Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721-0065, USA
6 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
7 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
8 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 8 January 2008
Aims. We present the characteristics and some early scientific results of the first instrument at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Large Binocular Camera (LBC). Each LBT telescope unit will be equipped with similar prime focus cameras. The blue channel is optimized for imaging in the bands and the red channel for imaging in the VRIz bands. The corrected field-of-view of each camera is approximately 30 arcmin in diameter, and the chip area is equivalent to a 2323 arcmin2 field. In this paper we also present the commissioning results of the blue channel.
Methods. The scientific and technical performance of the blue channel was assessed by measurement of the astrometric distortion, flat fielding, ghosts, and photometric calibrations. These measurements were then used as input to a data reduction pipeline applied to science commissioning data.
Results. The measurements completed during commissioning show that the technical performance of the blue channel is in agreement with original expectations. Since the red camera is very similar to the blue one we expect similar performance from the commissioning that will be performed in the following months in binocular configuration. Using deep UV image, acquired during the commissioning of the blue camera, we derived faint UV galaxy-counts in a ~ 500 sq. arcmin sky area to U(Vega) = 26.5. These galaxy counts imply that the blue camera is the most powerful UV imager presently available and in the near future in terms of depth and extent of the field-of-view. We emphasize the potential of the blue camera to increase the robustness of the UGR multicolour selection of Lyman break galaxies at redshift z ~ 3.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors / methods: data analysis / techniques: image processing / surveys / galaxies: photometry
© ESO, 2008