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DIVISION IX / COMMISSION 25 / WORKING GROUP: INFRARED ASTRONOMY

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The formal origin of the IRWG occured at the Buenos Aires General Assembly, following a Joint Commission meeting at the IAU GA in Baltimore in 1988 that identified the problems with ground-based infrared photometry. The situation is summarized in Milone (1989). In short, the challenges involved how to explain the failure to achieve the milli-magnitude precision expected of infrared photometry and an apparent 3% limit on system transformability. The proposed solution was to redefine the broadband Johnson system, the passbands of which had proven so unsatisfactory that over time effectively different systems proliferated, although bearing the same JHKLMNQ designations; the new system needed to be better positioned and centered in the atmospheric windows of the Earth's atmosphere, and the variable water vapour content of the atmosphere needed to be measured in real time to better correct for atmospheric extinction.

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References

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van Dokkum, P. G., et al. 2009, PASP, 121, 28
Hora, J. L., et al. 2008, PASP, 120, 12331243
Milone, 1989, in: Milone, E. F. (ed.), Infrared Extinction and Standardization, Proc., Two Sessions of IAU Commissions 25 and 9, Baltimore, MD, USA, 4 August 1988, Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol. 341 (Heidelberg: Springer), p. 1
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