AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 60 Secular Evolution Potpourri: Star Formation to Galactic Structures
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[60.16] Studying the Outer Regions of Radial Surface Brightness Profiles with the McDonald Observatory Prime Focus Camera

J. M. Chavez (University of Houston), S. C. Odewahn (University of Texas)

With the motivation of being able to detect breaks in the outer surface brightness profiles of face-on spiral galaxies, the capability of the 30-inch prime focus telescope at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory was tested for the maximum uncertainties in these profiles. To detect these breaks, accurate data as faint as 25-27 mag/arcsec2 are necessary. The flatness of the final, reduced images was calculated by finding the difference in average sky flux across the detector. This variation was then scaled to the galaxy size to determine the uncertainty in the flux measurements. The maximum uncertainties of the profile agreed very well to the measured profile, even as low in brightness as 25 mag/arcsec2. This, therefore, gives the assurance that any truncations in the profile will be detected by the Prime Focus Camera. This work was funded by the NSF through the REU Program.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.