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N. A. Walton (IoA, Cambridge, UK), J. Drew (Imperial, UK), M. J. Barlow (UCL, UK), R. Corradi (ING, Spain), J. Drake (CfA, Harvard), B. Gaensicke (Warwick, UK), R. Greimel (ING, Spain), P. Groot (Nijmegen, Netherlands), M. J. Irwin (IoA, Cambridge, UK), C. Knigge (Southampton, UK), P. Leisy (IAC, Spain), D. J. Lennon (ING, Spain), A. Mampaso (IAC, Spain), M. Masheder, R. Morris (Bristol, UK), Q. A. Parker (Macquarie, Australia), S. Phillipps (Bristol, UK), M. Pretorius (Southampton, UK), P. Rodriguez-Gil (Warwick, UK), I. Skillen (ING, Spain), J. Sokoloski, D. Steegs (CfA, Harvard), Y. Unruh (Imperial, UK), A. Witham (Southampton, UK), A. Zijlstra (Manchester, UK), A. Zurita (Granada, Spain), IPHAS Collaboration
H-alpha emission both traces diffuse ionised nebulae and is commonly prominent in the spectra of pre- and post-main-sequence stars and interacting binaries. Since these are mostly relatively short-lived phases of evolution, they represent a minority of objects in a mature galaxy like our own at any one time. In the case of interacting binaries, they are simply hard to find. This scarcity, in turn, has acted as a brake on our understanding of these crucial evolutionary stages that, in youth, help shape the growth of planetary systems, and in old age, determine stellar end states along with the recycling of energy and chemically enriched matter back into the galactic environment.
IPHAS is our H-alpha survey of the Northern Galactic Plane being carried out with the 2.5-m Isaac Newton telescope's Wide Field Camera. Some ~1800 deg2 of the northern Galactic plane, over latitudes 5 < b < 5, is being imaged in H-alpha, r', i' to a depth of r' ~20 mag.
Here we report on the first 120 nights of observations. We comment on the advanced reduction pipeline employed to generate object catalogues. Early results are noted, including the discovery of a number of new, hitherto rare, quadropolar planetary nebulae. The IPHAS objects have been mined to select candidate samples for followup spectroscopic studies. Extreme emission line objects are selected from the (r' - H-alpha) v (r' - i') colour-colour plot. First detections of low mass young stars in the massive OB association Cyg OB2 are presented.
We note how this data set will be a valuable resource for the emerging Virtual Observatory, and will be especially powerful when compared with matching multi-colour IR and optical surveys (e.g. 2MASS and SDSS).
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.