Volume 535, November 2011
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||07 November 2011|
MAD about the Large Magellanic Cloud⋆
Preparing for the era of Extremely Large Telescopes
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3 European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild-Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Cotter Road, Weston ACT 2611, Australia
Received: 7 November 2010
Accepted: 24 July 2011
We present J,H,Ks photometry from the the Multi conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator (MAD), a visitor instrument at the VLT, of a resolved stellar population in a small crowded field in the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud near the globular cluster NGC 1928. In a total exposure time of 6, 36 and 20 min, magnitude limits were achieved of J ~ 20.5 mag, H ~ 21 mag, and Ks ~ 20.5 mag respectively, with S/N > 10. This does not reach the level of the oldest Main Sequence Turnoffs, however the resulting Colour–Magnitude Diagrams are the deepest and most accurate obtained so far in the infrared for the LMC bar. We combined our photometry with deep optical photometry from the Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys, which is a good match in spatial resolution. The comparison between synthetic and observed CMDs shows that the stellar population of the field we observed is consistent with the star formation history expected for the LMC bar, and that all combinations of IJHKs filters can, with some care, produce the same results. We used the red clump magnitude in Ks to confirm the LMC distance modulus as, μ0 = 18.50 ± 0.06r ± 0.09s mag. We also addressed a number of technical aspects related to performing accurate photometry with adaptive optics images in crowded stellar fields, which has implications for how we should design and use the Extremely Large Telescopes of the future for studies of this kind.
Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics / Magellanic Clouds
© ESO, 2011
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