STScI Logo

Hubble Space Telescope
Phase II Example: NICMOS Grisms using APT

NICMOS utilizes three grisms in Camera 3 to achieve multiple object spectroscopy in the spectral range between 0.8 and 2.5 microns. The spatial resolution of the spectroscopy is similar to the spatial resolution of Camera 3. The NICMOS grisms do not have an input slit or aperture. A grism creates a dispersed spectrum centered on the location of the object in the camera field of view.

It is necessary to obtain an image of the field before each grism observation is taken. This will make it much easier to identify the target of interest in the grism images. Dithering is highly recommended to optimize the flux calibration. Ideally, the dithering should have non-integer pixel spacing.

Executing a pattern twice, once for images and a second time for the grism observations, is not recommended. In addition, a pattern orient of 0.11 deg is specified to achieve a 1/4 shift over 128.5 pixels. The NIC3 pixel scale is ~0.203"/pixel.

Note: For emission line point sources, one should dither in both directions, along the dispersion and cross-dispersion directions, to improve the line flux and wavelength measurement.

View the formatted APT listing for an example of a NICMOS Phase II spectroscopy proposal.