Infrared Absolute Calibration. I. Comparison of Sirius with Fainter Calibration Stars

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6 Scopus citations


A challenge in absolute calibration is to relate very bright stars with physical flux measurements to faint ones within range of modern instruments, e.g., those on large ground-based telescopes or the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We propose Sirius as the fiducial color standard. It is an A0V star that is slowly rotating and does not have infrared excesses due to either hot dust or a planetary debris disk; it also has a number of accurate (∼1%-2%) absolute flux measurements. We accurately transfer the near-infrared flux from Sirius to BD +60 1753, an unobscured early A-type star (A1V, V ≈ 9.6, E(B - V) ≈ 0.009) that is faint enough to serve as a primary absolute flux calibrator for JWST. Its near-infrared spectral energy distribution and that of Sirius should be virtually identical. We have determined its output relative to that of Sirius in a number of different ways, all of which give consistent results within ∼1%. We also transfer the calibration to GSPC P330-E, a well-calibrated close solar analog (G2V). We have emphasized the 2MASS K S band, since it represents a large number and long history of measurements, but the theoretical spectra (i.e., from CALSPEC) of these stars can be used to extend this result throughout the near- and mid-infrared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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