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Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2 ISR Abstract

Instrument Science Report 2004-01:

The Accuracy of WFPC2 Photometric Zeropoints

I. Heyer, M. Richardson, B. Whitmore, and L. Lubin

July 23, 2004


The accuracy of WFPC2 photometric zeropoints is examined using two methods. The first approach compares the zeropoints from five sources: Holtzman (1995), the HST Data Handbook (1995 and 2002 versions), and Dolphin (both 2000 and 2002 versions). We find the rms scatter between the different studies to be: 0.043 mag for F336W, 0.034 mag for F439W, 0.016 mag for F555W, and 0.018 mag for F814W. The second approach is a comparison of WFPC2 observations of NGC2419 with ground-based photometry from Stetson (from his website) and Saha et al. (private communication). The agreement between these comparisons is similar to the historical zeropoint comparisons. Hence we conclude that the true uncertainty of WFPC2 zeropoints is currently about 0.02-0.04 magnitudes, with some dependence on filter. The largest errors seen are 0.07 magnitudes. Since Poisson statistics would predict that 1% absolute accuracy should be attainable, we conclude that there are still systematic error sources which have not yet been identified.

The Complete Paper (PDF 0.7 MB) is available.