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Session 75 - 2MASS.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center
Beginning in early 1997, the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) project will map the entire sky in the J (1.13 - 1.37 \mum), H (1.50 - 1.80 \mum), and K_s (2.02 - 2.32 \mum) photometric bands to a 10\sigma limiting sensitivity of 15.8, 15.1, and 14.3 mag., respectively. The survey will operate until 2001. The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) will reduce the raw survey data to three data products for distribution to the scientific community: 1) A point source catalog containing \sim10^8 objects with positions accurate to <0.5^\prime\prime; 2) An extended source catalog containing \sim10^6 objects; and 3) An image product consisting of the co-added survey data presented as 1024x512 FITS images with 1^\prime\prime pixels.
The principal advantages of a near-infrared survey are its sensitivity to cool objects (e.g. evolved stars, brown dwarfs, red quasars, and forming stars) and significant abatement of Galactic extinction. Among the scientific opportunities inherent in such a database are 1) characterization of the population of extremely low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood; 2) determination of the structure of the Galaxy via luminous evolved star tracers; and 3) determination of the distribution of galaxies in the local universe largely free of the ``zone of avoidance.''
The performance of the survey relative to its stated goals has been extensively tested with a prototype survey camera operated at the KPNO 50'' telescope. To date this camera has surveyed more than 200 square degrees of sky in a variety of environments.
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