We describe the motivations and background of a large survey of nearby stellar populations using the Ultraviolet Optical Telescope (UVOT) on board the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission. UVOT, with its wide field, near-UV sensitivity, and 2″.3 spatial resolution, is uniquely suited to studying nearby stellar populations and providing insight into the near-UV properties of hot stars and the contribution of those stars to the integrated light of more distant stellar populations. We review the state of UV stellar photometry, outline the survey, and address problems specific to wide- and crowded-field UVOT photometry. We present color-magnitude diagrams of the nearby open clusters M67, NGC 188, and NGC 2539, and the globular cluster M79. We demonstrate that UVOT can easily discern the young- and intermediate-age main sequences, blue stragglers, and hot white dwarfs, producing results consistent with previous studies. We also find that it characterizes the blue horizontal branch of M79 and easily identifies a known post-asymptotic giant branch star.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science