Gemini Preprint #21

On the Comparative Performance of an 8M NGST and a Ground Based 8m Optical/IR Telescope

F.C. Gillett and M. Mountain
Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson AZ 85719


The potential 1-20µm imaging and spectroscopic sensitivity of a cooled 8m NGST in space is compared to that of a 8m ground-based telescope. For lambdagreater than2.5µm an 8m NGST may achieve a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) advantage in the range 100 to 1000 for both imaging observations and for spectroscopic observations up to R=1000. In the 1 to 2.5µm regime an 8m NGST may achieve a SNR advantage for imaging of ~10, while for spectroscopic observations the SNR advantage is expected to be substantially less and could approach unity for Rgreater than1000.

Appears in ASP volume 133, "Science with the Next Generation Space Telescope".

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Ruth A. Kneale / / August 26, 1997