Simulated extragalactic observations with a cryogenic imaging spectrophotometer

B. A. Mazin, R. J. Brunner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we explore the application of cryogenic imaging spectrophotometers. Prototypes of this new class of detector, such as superconducting tunnel junctions (STJs) and transition edge sensors (TESs), currently deliver low-resolution imaging spectrophotometry with high quantum efficiency (70%-100%) and no read noise over a wide bandpass in the visible to near-infrared. In order to demonstrate their utility and the differences in observing strategy needed to maximize their scientific return, we present simulated observations of a deep extragalactic field. Using a simple analytic technique, we can estimate both the galaxy redshift and spectral type more accurately than is possible with current broad-band techniques. From our simulated observations and a subsequent discussion of the expected migration path for this new technology, we illustrate the power and promise of these devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2721-2729
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Instrumentation: detectors
  • Methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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