We describe the prospects for the use of the Wide-Field/Planetary Camera (WFPC) for stellar photometry. The large halos of the point-spread function (PSF) resulting from spherical aberration and from spatial, temporal, and color variations of the PSF are the main limitations to accurate photometry. Degradations caused by crowding are exacerbated by the halos of the PSF. Here we attempt to quantify these effects and determine the current accuracy of stellar photometry with the WFPC. In realistic cases, the brighter stars in crowded fields have 0.09 mag errors; fainter stars have larger errors depending on the degree of crowding. We find that measuring Cepheids in Virgo Cluster galaxies is not currently possible without inordinate increases in exposure times.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science