Wavelength-dependent PSFs and their impact on weak lensing measurements

S. G. Carlsten, Michael A. Strauss, Robert H. Lupton, Joshua E. Meyers, Satoshi Miyazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We measure and model the wavelength dependence of the point spread function (PSF) in the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program survey. We find that PSF chromaticity is present in the redder stars that appear smaller than bluer stars in the g, r, and i bands at the 1-2 per cent level and in the z and y bands at the 0.1-0.2 per cent level. From the color dependence of the PSF, we fit a model between the monochromatic PSF size based on weighted second moments, R, and wavelength of the form R(λ) ∝ λ-b. We find values of b between 0.2 and 0.5, depending on the epoch and filter. This is consistent with the expectations of a turbulent atmosphere with an outer scale length of ~10-100 m, indicating that the atmosphere is dominating the chromaticity. In the best seeing data, we find that the optical system and detector also contribute some wavelength dependence. Meyers & Burchat showed that b must be measured to an accuracy of ~0.02 not to dominate the systematic error budget of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) weak lensing (WL) survey. Using simple image simulations, we find that b can be inferred with this accuracy in the r and i-bands for all positions in the LSST focal plane, assuming a stellar density of 1 star arcmin-2 and that the optical component of the PSF can be accurately modeled. Therefore, it is possible to correct for most, if not all, of the bias that the wavelength-dependent PSF will introduce into an LSST-like WL survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1504
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 11 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Atmospheric effects
  • Gravitational lensing: weak
  • Instrumentation: detectors
  • Methods: observational


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