AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 91 Surveys and Catalogs
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[91.05] The VLA Low-frequency Sky Survey (VLSS)

A. S. Cohen, W. M. Lane, N. E. Kassim, T. J. W. Lazio (Naval Research Laboratory), W. D. Cotton, R. A. Perley, J. J. Condon (NRAO), W. C. Erickson (University of Tasmania)

We present an overview of the ongoing VLA Low-frequency Sky Survey (VLSS, formerly known as 4MASS). The VLSS will map an area of 9.1 sr covering the entire sky above a declination of -30 degrees (or 75% of the full sky), at a frequency of 74 MHz (4 meter wavelength) with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and resolution at this low frequency. The observational challenges at this wavelength include radio frequency interference (RFI), ionospheric phase distortions and a large field of view filled with sources. These challenges have been surmounted by a variety of new algorithms. The principle data products from the survey will be a set of publicly available images along with a source catalog of approximately 80,000 objects. Thus we will create an online virtual observatory at this previously unexplored frequency which will complement other major surveys at higher frequencies such as the NVSS. From these data, statistically useful samples of extra-galactic and Galactic objects, such as high redshift radio galaxies, galaxy clusters, supernova remnants and pulsars can be assembled for further study. In addition, this survey will provide a crucial calibration grid for use with next-generation of large low frequency telescopes such as LWA and LOFAR. The observations are now roughly 50% complete, and we expect to observe the majority of the remaining fields by spring 2005. Current data products and more information are available on our website (URL:http://lwa.nrl.navy.mil/VLSS). Basic research in radio astronomy at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by the office of Naval Research.

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