Sparsepak: a Formatted Fiber Field Unit for the Wiyn Telescope Bench Spectrograph. Ii. On-sky Performance


We present a performance analysis of SparsePak and the WIYN Bench Spectrograph for precision studies of stellar and ionized gas kinematics of external galaxies. We focus on spectrograph configurations with echelle and low-order gratings yielding spectral resolutions of 10,000 between 500 and 900 nm. These configurations are of general relevance to the spectrograph performance. Benchmarks include spectral resolution, sampling, vignetting, scattered light, and an estimate of the system absolute throughput. Comparisons are made to other, existing, fiber feeds on the WIYN Bench Spectrograph. Vignetting and relative throughput are found to agree with a geometric model of the optical system. An aperture-correction protocol for spectrophotometric standard-star calibrations has been established using independent WIYN imaging data and the unique capabilities of the SparsePak fiber array. The WIYN point-spread function is well fitted by a Moffat profile with a constant power-law outer slope of index 4.4. We use SparsePak commissioning data to debunk a long-standing myth concerning sky-subtraction with fibers: by properly treating the multifiber data as a ‘‘long-slit’’ it is possible to achieve precision sky-subtraction with a signal-to-noise performance as good or better than conventional long-slit spectroscopy. No beam-switching is required, and hence the method is efficient. Finally, we give several examples of science measurements that SparsePak now makes routine. These include H velocity fields of low surface brightness disks, gas and stellar velocity-fields of nearly face-on disks, and stellar absorption-line profiles of galaxy disks at spectral resolutions of 24,000. Subject headingg: instrumentation: spectrographs

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@inproceedings{Bershady2004SparsepakAF, title={Sparsepak: a Formatted Fiber Field Unit for the Wiyn Telescope Bench Spectrograph. Ii. On-sky Performance}, author={Matthew A. Bershady and David R. Andersen and M . A . W . Verheijen and Kyle B. Westfall and Steven M. Crawford and R . A . Swaters}, year={2004} }