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Published 1994 | metadata_only
Book Section - Chapter

The Near Infrared Camera on the W.M. Keck Telescope


The near infrared camera (NIRC) was used for a science demonstration run on the Keck telescope during 16–24 March 1993. The camera used a 256 x 256 InSb array manufactured by Santa Barbara Research Corporation. Observations were obtained using narrowband and broad band filters from 1 to 2.4 microns, and grisms with a spectral resolution of 0.6 percent in the J, H and K atmospheric windows. The instrument was fully background limited over the entire wavelength range. The sky background was quite low, reaching 14.3 mag/square arc sec in the broadband K_s filter. The image quality of the camera + telescope was excellent, being seeing limited in the range 0.5″-0.9″. The science demonstration observations of the NIRC on the Keck Telescope included observations of the most distant galaxy known, 4C41.17 at a redshift z = 3.8 and the most luminous object known, the IRAS source FSC10214+4724 at a redshift z = 2.29. Observations of the radio galaxy address the problem of the alignment effect in high redshift radio galaxies as well as the environments of such systems. FSC10214+4724 appears to be a merging galaxy that is at least 5 × 10^8 years old.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994. The members of the NIRC commissioning team included J. Graham, W. Harrison, G. Jernigan, S. Lin, G. Neugebauer and C. Ziomkowski. In addition J. Larkin, C. Lawrence and G. Djorgovski greatly assisted in the planning, reduction, analysis and interpretation of the data obtained during the science demonstration run. We thank all of our colleagues for allowing us to summarize the results in this paper. The successful demonstration of the capabilities of the W.M. Keck telescope is a tribute to the many dedicated people who have spent many years in the planning and building of this facility. J. Nelson, G. Smith, H. Boesgaard, W. Irace, H. Lewis and M. Sirota are just the most visible of the dedicated CARA staff. It is also a pleasure to thank E. Stone, W. Frazier and the CARA Board as well as W. Sargent and S. Faber and the Science Steering Committee of CARA for their support. The W.M. Keck Observatory is operated as a scientific partnership between the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. It was made possible by the generous gift of the W.M. Keck foundation and the support of its president, Howard Keck. We are most grateful for their visionary endowment that has made possible the first of the next generation of telescopes.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023