The wide-field chips in WFPC-2 have ~0.0996 arcsec pixels, which is larger than the FWHM of the point spread function (PSF). This poor sampling of WFPC-2 images, means that simple stellar aperture photometry is competitive with profile fitting for moderately crowded fields. One of the problems which must be addressed with profile fitting photometry is that of allowing for variations of the PSF as a function of position on the image. The equivalent problem for aperture photometry is obtaining aperture corrections as a function of position. The aperture correction must be added to each aperture magnitude in order to account for the flux from the star falling outside the aperture. If the aperture used is large, and with WFPC-2 this means about 1 arcsec in diameter, then the aperture corrections will be both small and fairly constant. However, to obtain better signal-to-noise especially in crowded fields, and hence take full advantage of the superb resolution of HST, it is desirable to use smaller apertures.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ted-vonhippel/116/