Absolute calibration and characterization of the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. I. The stellar calibrator sample and the 24 μm calibration

C. W. Engelbracht, M. Blaylock, K. Y L Su, J. Rho, George H. Rieke, J. Muzerolle, D. L. Padgett, D. C. Hines, K. D. Gordon, D. Fadda, A. Noriega-Crespo, D. M. Kelly, W. B. Latter, J. L. Hinz, K. A. Misselt, J. E. Morrison, J. A. Stansberry, D. L. Shupe, S. Stolovy, Wm A. WheatonE. T. Young, G. Neugebauer, S. Wachter, P. G. Pérez-González, D. T. Frayer, F. R. Marleau

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Abstract

We present the stellar calibrator sample and the conversion from instrumental to physical units for the 24 μm channel of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). The primary calibrators are A stars, and the calibration factor based on those stars is 4.54 × 10 -2 MJy sr -1 (DN s -1) -1 with a nominal uncertainty of 2%. We discuss the data reduction procedures required to attain this accuracy; without these procedures, the calibration factor obtained using the automated pipeline at the Spitzer Science Center is 1.6% ± 0.6% lower. We extend this work to predict 24 μm flux densities for a sample of 238 stars that covers a larger range of flux densities and spectral types. We present a total of 348 measurements of 141 stars at 24 μm. This sample covers a factor of ∼460 in 24 μm flux density, from 8.6 mJy up to 4.0 Jy. We show that the calibration is linear over that range with respect to target flux and background level. The calibration is based on observations made using 3 s exposures; a preliminary analysis shows that the calibration factor may be 1% and 2% lower for 10 and 30 s exposures, respectively. We also demonstrate that the calibration is very stable: over the course of the mission, repeated measurements of our routine calibrator, HD 159330, show a rms scatter of only 0.4%. Finally, we show that the point-spread function (PSF) is well measured and allows us to calibrate extended sources accurately; Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) and MIPS measurements of a sample of nearby galaxies are identical within the uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1018
Number of pages25
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume119
Issue number859
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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photometer
photometers
calibration
flux density
stars
A stars
data reduction
Infrared Astronomy Satellite
point spread functions
astronomy
background level
galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Absolute calibration and characterization of the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. I. The stellar calibrator sample and the 24 μm calibration. / Engelbracht, C. W.; Blaylock, M.; Su, K. Y L; Rho, J.; Rieke, George H.; Muzerolle, J.; Padgett, D. L.; Hines, D. C.; Gordon, K. D.; Fadda, D.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Kelly, D. M.; Latter, W. B.; Hinz, J. L.; Misselt, K. A.; Morrison, J. E.; Stansberry, J. A.; Shupe, D. L.; Stolovy, S.; Wheaton, Wm A.; Young, E. T.; Neugebauer, G.; Wachter, S.; Pérez-González, P. G.; Frayer, D. T.; Marleau, F. R.

In: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 119, No. 859, 2007, p. 994-1018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Engelbracht, CW, Blaylock, M, Su, KYL, Rho, J, Rieke, GH, Muzerolle, J, Padgett, DL, Hines, DC, Gordon, KD, Fadda, D, Noriega-Crespo, A, Kelly, DM, Latter, WB, Hinz, JL, Misselt, KA, Morrison, JE, Stansberry, JA, Shupe, DL, Stolovy, S, Wheaton, WA, Young, ET, Neugebauer, G, Wachter, S, Pérez-González, PG, Frayer, DT & Marleau, FR 2007, 'Absolute calibration and characterization of the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. I. The stellar calibrator sample and the 24 μm calibration', Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, vol. 119, no. 859, pp. 994-1018. https://doi.org/10.1086/521881
Engelbracht, C. W. ; Blaylock, M. ; Su, K. Y L ; Rho, J. ; Rieke, George H. ; Muzerolle, J. ; Padgett, D. L. ; Hines, D. C. ; Gordon, K. D. ; Fadda, D. ; Noriega-Crespo, A. ; Kelly, D. M. ; Latter, W. B. ; Hinz, J. L. ; Misselt, K. A. ; Morrison, J. E. ; Stansberry, J. A. ; Shupe, D. L. ; Stolovy, S. ; Wheaton, Wm A. ; Young, E. T. ; Neugebauer, G. ; Wachter, S. ; Pérez-González, P. G. ; Frayer, D. T. ; Marleau, F. R. / Absolute calibration and characterization of the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. I. The stellar calibrator sample and the 24 μm calibration. In: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 2007 ; Vol. 119, No. 859. pp. 994-1018.
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abstract = "We present the stellar calibrator sample and the conversion from instrumental to physical units for the 24 μm channel of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). The primary calibrators are A stars, and the calibration factor based on those stars is 4.54 × 10 -2 MJy sr -1 (DN s -1) -1 with a nominal uncertainty of 2{\%}. We discuss the data reduction procedures required to attain this accuracy; without these procedures, the calibration factor obtained using the automated pipeline at the Spitzer Science Center is 1.6{\%} ± 0.6{\%} lower. We extend this work to predict 24 μm flux densities for a sample of 238 stars that covers a larger range of flux densities and spectral types. We present a total of 348 measurements of 141 stars at 24 μm. This sample covers a factor of ∼460 in 24 μm flux density, from 8.6 mJy up to 4.0 Jy. We show that the calibration is linear over that range with respect to target flux and background level. The calibration is based on observations made using 3 s exposures; a preliminary analysis shows that the calibration factor may be 1{\%} and 2{\%} lower for 10 and 30 s exposures, respectively. We also demonstrate that the calibration is very stable: over the course of the mission, repeated measurements of our routine calibrator, HD 159330, show a rms scatter of only 0.4{\%}. Finally, we show that the point-spread function (PSF) is well measured and allows us to calibrate extended sources accurately; Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) and MIPS measurements of a sample of nearby galaxies are identical within the uncertainties.",
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T1 - Absolute calibration and characterization of the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. I. The stellar calibrator sample and the 24 μm calibration

AU - Engelbracht, C. W.

AU - Blaylock, M.

AU - Su, K. Y L

AU - Rho, J.

AU - Rieke, George H.

AU - Muzerolle, J.

AU - Padgett, D. L.

AU - Hines, D. C.

AU - Gordon, K. D.

AU - Fadda, D.

AU - Noriega-Crespo, A.

AU - Kelly, D. M.

AU - Latter, W. B.

AU - Hinz, J. L.

AU - Misselt, K. A.

AU - Morrison, J. E.

AU - Stansberry, J. A.

AU - Shupe, D. L.

AU - Stolovy, S.

AU - Wheaton, Wm A.

AU - Young, E. T.

AU - Neugebauer, G.

AU - Wachter, S.

AU - Pérez-González, P. G.

AU - Frayer, D. T.

AU - Marleau, F. R.

PY - 2007

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N2 - We present the stellar calibrator sample and the conversion from instrumental to physical units for the 24 μm channel of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). The primary calibrators are A stars, and the calibration factor based on those stars is 4.54 × 10 -2 MJy sr -1 (DN s -1) -1 with a nominal uncertainty of 2%. We discuss the data reduction procedures required to attain this accuracy; without these procedures, the calibration factor obtained using the automated pipeline at the Spitzer Science Center is 1.6% ± 0.6% lower. We extend this work to predict 24 μm flux densities for a sample of 238 stars that covers a larger range of flux densities and spectral types. We present a total of 348 measurements of 141 stars at 24 μm. This sample covers a factor of ∼460 in 24 μm flux density, from 8.6 mJy up to 4.0 Jy. We show that the calibration is linear over that range with respect to target flux and background level. The calibration is based on observations made using 3 s exposures; a preliminary analysis shows that the calibration factor may be 1% and 2% lower for 10 and 30 s exposures, respectively. We also demonstrate that the calibration is very stable: over the course of the mission, repeated measurements of our routine calibrator, HD 159330, show a rms scatter of only 0.4%. Finally, we show that the point-spread function (PSF) is well measured and allows us to calibrate extended sources accurately; Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) and MIPS measurements of a sample of nearby galaxies are identical within the uncertainties.

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