Paul Martini and D.L. DePoy 2000, Proceedings of the SPIE, 4008, in press
The OH airglow emission lines are the dominant source of background emission in the near-infrared J and H bandpasses. In principle, these emission lines can be avoided by observing at sufficiently high spectral resolution, rejecting pixels contaminated by OH lines, and rebinning to the desired resolution. Two trade-offs to this approach are non-negligible detector noise per pixel and the added expense of instrumentation with higher resolution. In this contribution, we simulate various observed and desired resolutions as a function of detector noise and target brightness to develop a set of guidelines for the optimal resolution in a variety of observing programs. As a general rule, observing at a 2-pixel resolution of 2000 - 4000 provides optimal OH rejection for a wide range of detector noise and source signal.
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