COMICS gallery


The Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS) can be installed at the Cassegrain focus of Subaru Telescope and provides both imaging and spectroscopic capabilities from 7.5-25 um. It has been optimized for use in the N-band (7.5-13.5 um). Six 320 x 240 Si:As BIB detectors are used: five for the spectrometer and one for imaging/slit viewing.

Please also visit the COMICS web page at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), provided by the instrument group. [External link; or an internal (quasi-)mirror (updated only intermittently)].


You can download a copy of SPIE2000 paper COMICS: The Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer for the Subaru Telescope by Kataza et al. (560kb gzipped postscript). Note that some of the filters differ in specification from the design values listed in this paper.

You can also download a copy of SPIE2002 paper Improved performances and capabilities of the cooled mid-infrared camera and spectrometer (COMICS) for the Subaru telescope by Okamoto et al. (350kb pdf file).


The camera/slit viewer uses a plate scale of 0.13'' to provide a field of view of 42'' x 32''.


The spectrometer has a plate scale of 0.165''/pixel, producing a 40'' slit. Slit widths of 2, 3, and 4 pixels are available. The entire N-band can be covered at a resolution of R ~ 2500 in two settings, and a low-resolution mode (R~ 250) and a high-resolution mode (R ~ 8500) around 12.8 um are also available.


Listed below are some numbers to illustrate what can be expected from one hour of actual observing time (elapsed time) using COMICS.

  • N-band imaging using the N11.7-filter (bandwidth = 1.0um) yields a sensitivity of 0.76 mJy (1-sigma), for a point source which can be chopped and nodded on-chip to maximise the observing efficiency. For an extended source which must be chopped and nodded off-chip, the time spent on-source is halved and the sensitivity is worsened by a factor of sqrt(2) to 1.1 mJy.
  • Q-band imaging using the Q18.8-filter (bandwidth = 0.9um) yields a 1-sigma sensitivity of 11 mJy (again, for a point-source chopped/nodded on-chip). Also, in the Q-band, the detector must be read out partially to maximise the efficiency.
  • N-band medium-resolution (R ~ 2,500) spectroscopy, covers the entire N-band in two grating positions and provides a 1-sigma sensitivity of 63 mJy for a point-source that can be chopped along the slit.
  • Q-band medium-resolution (R ~ 2,500) spectroscopy will reach a 1-sigma sensitivity of 510 mJy (point source).

Observation tools

Further information

Questions regarding COMICS should be directed to tak <at-mark>

Copyright 2000-2019 Subaru Telescope, NAOJ. All rights reserved.