** Next:** 4.5 How to Observe with Multi-slits

** Previous:** 4.3 How Wide You Can Really Open the Slit: Anamorphic
Demagnification

Your options are as follows:

- Always observe at low airmasses.
- Rotate the spectrograph so that the slit is near the parallactic
angle. The telescope displays at both the 4-m and the 2.1-m will
display the current parallactic angle; to anticipate this ahead of time,
we use the following bit of FORTRAN code:
top=sind(ha*15.)

bot=tand(alat)*cosd(dec)-sind(dec)*cosd(ha*15.)

pa=atan2d(top,bot)

if(pa.lt.0.) pa=360+pa

if(pa.gt.180.) pa=pa

**-**180.where ``alat" is the latitude of Kitt Peak (31.958); dec is the object's declination (in degrees); and ha is the object's hour angle in hours. A graph giving the parallactic angle as a function of hour angle and declination for Kitt Peak (modeled after Fig. 1 in Filippenko 1982) can be found in Fig. 12.

In practice, rotating the slit has to be performed near the zenith, and so there is some loss of time involved.

- At the 4-m there are atmospheric dispersion correctors available,
as described in the following section.

**Figure 12:** The parallactic angle as a function of hour
angle
WEST of the meridian for the latitude of Kitt Peak.
For negative hour angles, use the complement
of the angle indicated; i.e., an object at and
and hour angle of -5 hrs has a parallactic angle of 180-110=70
degrees. This figure is a slightly modified
version of Figure 1 in Filippenko 1982 PASP 94, 715.

The 4-m telescope is equipped with a pair of ``Risley prisms", which
provide excellent atmospheric dispersion compensation (ADC). The Risleys
can be inserted into the beam with some light loss (5-8% **>** 4000Å),
but they will then protect you against the losses due to differential
refraction.

In Fig. 13 we show how well the Risleys do their atmospheric compensation. The boxes denote the fluxes for a spectrophotometric standard. We then show two observations of this star, both obtained at airmass of 1.8, and both obtained in the worst possible scenario of the slit being 90 degrees to the parallactic angle. We see that the observation obtained with the Risley prisms follows that of the known flux distribution of the star, while that obtained without the Risleys was down by a factor of 3 in the blue. We do note that if you are doing spectrophotometry with the Risleys, you must observe your standards with the Risleys as well, to properly calibrate the small but wavelength-dependent light-losses of the Risleys.

One other logistical consideration to keep in mind when using the Risley prisms is that finding a guide star will be a little bit harder. Because the telescope focus is quite a bit different when the Risleys are in use (+1550 microns!) any guide star must be within the realm of the Risleys in order to be in focus. In practice it seems to work to find a guide star within 125mm (14 arcmin) of field center. Remember that the vignetting limit is 75mm within field center, so there is a good annulus left.

**Figure 13:** The boxes show the known standard star
fluxes; the two spectra show the effects of observing at a high
airmass with the slit oriented 90 degrees to the parallactic angle.

Updated: 19Feb1999