Journal Article

High-precision astrometry with MICADO at the European Extremely Large Telescope

S. Trippe, R. Davies, F. Eisenhauer, N. M. Förster Schreiber, T. K. Fritz and R. Genzel

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 2, pages 1126-1140
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
High-precision astrometry with MICADO at the European Extremely Large Telescope

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In this article, we identify and discuss various statistical and systematic effects influencing the astrometric accuracy achievable with Multi-adaptive optics Imaging CAmera for Deep Observations, the near-infrared (NIR) imaging camera proposed for the 42-m European Extremely Large Telescope. These effects are instrumental (e.g. geometric distortion), atmospheric (e.g. chromatic differential refraction) and astronomical (reference source selection). We find that there are several phenomena having impact on ∼100 μas scales, meaning they can be substantially larger than the theoretical statistical astrometric accuracy of an optical/NIR 42-m telescope. Depending on type, these effects need to be controlled via dedicated instrumental design properties or via dedicated calibration procedures. We conclude that if this is done properly, astrometric accuracies of 40 μas or better – with 40 μas yr−1 in proper motions corresponding to ≈20 km s−1 at 100 kpc distance – can be achieved in one epoch of actual observations.

Keywords: instrumentation: high angular resolution; techniques: high angular resolution; telescopes; astrometry

Journal Article.  12512 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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