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Guide Star Catalogues

Any of the optical catalogs searchable in the Observing Tool (UCAC4, UCAC3, PPMXL, NOMAD1, and GSC-2 ) are acceptable for selecting guide stars for the optical wavefront sensors.  Our tests have shown that the catalog with the best combination of photometry, astrometry, and exclusion of extended sources is the UCAC4.  Therefore, we recommend using this catalog whenever possible.

Deep catalogs such as GSC-2, PPMXL, or NOMAD1 are useful for selecting faint natural guide stars for use in the ALTAIR + laser guide star mode.

The near-IR 2MASS catalog must be used for selecting guide stars for the near-IR on-instrument wavefront sensors in NIFS or GNIRS.  This catalog should not be used to select stars for the optical WFS.