The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury

Dalcanton, Julianne J., Williams, Benjamin F., Lang, Dustin, Lauer, Tod R., Kalirai, Jason S., Seth, Anil C., Dolphin, Andrew, Rosenfield, Philip, Weisz, Daniel R., Bell, Eric F., Bianchi, Luciana C., Boyer, Martha L., Caldwell, Nelson, Dong, Hui, Dorman, Claire E., Gilbert, Karoline M., Girardi, Léo, Gogarten, Stephanie M., Gordon, Karl D., Guhathakurta, Puragra, Hodge, Paul W., Holtzman, Jon A., Johnson, L. Clifton, Larsen, Søren S., Lewis, Alexia, Melbourne, Jason L., Olsen, Knut A. G., Rix, Hans-Walter, Rosema, Keith, Saha, Abhijit, Sarajedini, Ata, Skillman, Evan D., & Stanek, Krzysztof Z.
2012, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 200, 18

The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury is an ongoing Hubble Space Telescope Multi-Cycle Treasury program to image ~1/3 of M31's star-forming disk in six filters, spanning from the ultraviolet (UV) to the near-infrared (NIR). We use the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to resolve the galaxy into millions of individual stars with projected radii from 0 to 20 kpc. The full survey will cover a contiguous 0.5 deg2area in 828 orbits. Imaging is being obtained in the F275W and F336W filters on the WFC3/UVIS camera, F475W and F814W on ACS/WFC, and F110W and F160W on WFC3/IR. The resulting wavelength coverage gives excellent constraints on stellar temperature, bolometric luminosity, and extinction for most spectral types. The data produce photometry with a signal-to-noise ratio of 4 at m F275W = 25.1, m F336W = 24.9, m F475W = 27.9, m F814W = 27.1, m F110W = 25.5, and m F160W = 24.6 for single pointings in the uncrowded outer disk; in the inner disk, however, the optical and NIR data are crowding limited, and the deepest reliable magnitudes are up to 5 mag brighter. Observations are carried out in two orbits per pointing, split between WFC3/UVIS and WFC3/IR cameras in primary mode, with ACS/WFC run in parallel. All pointings are dithered to produce Nyquist-sampled images in F475W, F814W, and F160W. We describe the observing strategy, photometry, astrometry, and data products available for the survey, along with extensive testing of photometric stability, crowding errors, spatially dependent photometric biases, and telescope pointing control. We also report on initial fits to the structure of M31's disk, derived from the density of red giant branch stars, in a way that is independent of assumed mass-to-light ratios and is robust to variations in dust extinction. These fits also show that the 10 kpc ring is not just a region of enhanced recent star formation, but is instead a dynamical structure containing a significant overdensity of stars with ages >1 Gyr.


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