AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 102. Instrumentation for the Optical and Infrared
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[102.10] First Light for MIRSI

L.K. Deutsch (BU/CfA), J.L. Hora (CfA), J.D. Adams, M. Kassis (BU)

We will present the first astronomical images taken with MIRSI (Mid-InfraRed Spectrometer and Imager). First light for MIRSI is scheduled for December 2001.

MIRSI is a mid-infrared camera system recently completed at Boston University that has both spectroscopic and imaging capabilities. The camera utilizes a new 320x240 Si:As IBC array developed for ground-based astronomy by Raytheon/SBRC. MIRSI offers a large field of view (1.6 arcmin x 1.2 arcmin at the IRTF with a pixel scale of 0.3 arcsec), diffraction-limited spatial resolution, complete spectral coverage over the 8-14 micron and 17-26 micron atmospheric windows for both imaging (discrete filters and CVF) and spectroscopy (10 and 20 micron grisms), and high sensitivity (expected 1-sigma point source sensitivities of 5 and 20 mJy at 10 and 20 microns, respectively, for on-source integration time of 30 seconds). This system offers the unique ability to acquire both spectra and high-resolution, multi-wavelength images of an astrophysical source. This will make it possible to unambiguously correlate the spatial and spectral features observed in astrophysical sources and thereby reveal the key physical and chemical processes at work. MIRSI is uniquely suited for studies of young stellar objects and star formation, planetary and protoplanetary nebulae, starburst galaxies, and solar system objects such as planets, asteroids, and comets.

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