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Bright Object Lists

Solar System Objects Included in Bright Object Avoidance
No object (besides the Sun) poses a threat to instrument safety. However, an observer may wish to avoid observing the Earth and other bright moving objects to avoid compromising observations of faint targets. Therefore, the visibility windows calculated by the Spitzer planning tools avoid certain bright moving targets by default. The observer may choose to override the default (a) Earth/Moon or (b) other bright object avoidance. For example, to observe Jovian satellites, one would turn off (b) and leave (a) in effect.

  • Earth
  • Moon
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • 4 Vesta
  • 6 Hebe
  • 1 Ceres
  • 7 Iris
  • 15 Eunomia

The observer can choose to override the default. It should be noted that it is the observer's responsibility to check for any bright inertial targets in the field of view that might compromise the observation, and there are some that will heavily saturate the instruments. A list of most of the objects known to saturate the instruments is available below.

Known inertial bright objects
Note that as of S13 (November 2005), (1) Spot can overlay these bright objects on visualizations, and (2) proposers need to justify observing these objects.

The SSC reserves the right to put a scheduling hold on AORs that may or may not be included on these lists as a result of impacts these bright objects would have on subsequent observations.

In assessing whether or not your particular target will saturate or what the amount of scattered light from off-field sources is, please see Table 6.13 and Section in the Warm Spitzer Observer's Manual.

Bright Objects as of November 1, 2005 (S13)

Things to avoid while using...

These lists, and those accessed through Spot, may contain erroneous entries. It is the responsibility of the observer to visualize the bright source locations on corresponding images in Spot to verify the reality of the listed objects.

For IRAC, targets are subject to flagging as bright objects if they are within 10 arcmin of the center of an IRAC aperture. This distance is subject to change at any time.