Monday, September 17, 2007

Complications with Shamelessly Raiding the Archive

Amanda and I are spending the week in Socorro, so hopefully we will be learning little new AIPS facts every day! Here's my first one:

Sometimes I have dreams about raiding the VLA archive and combining like 6 different data sets. However, often times the data sets will have slightly different centers-- in my case, often one observer centers on the galaxy's center, while another observer center on a supernova that goes off in the outskirts of the galaxy, some 5 arcminutes away. I was wondering, can you just DBCON these two data sets together, and AIPS can handle it?

The answer is...

DBCON can adjust the phases, so yes, it can image data from two pointings with significantly different centers. What Miller Goss said you have to be wary of is that DBCON doesn't adjust amplitudes. So, if there are two different pointing centers, the center of your galaxy is going to fall in different locations of the primary beam in the different observations. If you are combining two observations separated by 5 arcminutes at 20cm, where the primary beam is 30 arcminutes, this shouldn't be a big issue...probably the primary beam sensitivity of the two pointings will only vary by a few percent. However, if the separation of your pointings starts approaching the size of the primary beam, then you can no longer use DBCON and need to think of some other way to combine the data.

1 comment:

sillywolf said...
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