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M.P. Haynes (Cornell and NAIC)
The ALFA surveys will deliver powerful datasets, some unique to the epoch in which they were collected and others not likely to be superceded for many years. Exploitation of their full science potential lies in their use in combination with datasets of comparably large survey programs at other wavelengths. In the northern galactic cap, especially in the region of the Virgo cluster, ALFALFA will provide HI masses and rotational widths as well as redshifts for low surface brightness gas-rich galaxies in the same region covered by the SDSS, GALEX, 2MASS and other surveys. In addition to providing exotic systems to be targeted by GLAST, the raw P-ALFA dataset will be searched for counterparts to the gamma-ray sources which GLAST will discover. GALFACTS will help constrain the foreground models at higher frequencies for Planck, and in return, the Planck data will contribute sensitive maps of the Galactic foreground at those higher frequencies, including dust thermal emission polarimetry, thereby providing linkage between constraining cosmological models on the one hand and studies of the interstellar medium, including the Galactic magnetic field, on the other. Furthermore, the raw data archives will be available for future analysis, for example, to explore them using new signal processing and detection algorithms, as a baseline epoch for newly discovered time-variable sources, or for the statistical characterization of continuum transients. Under the stewardship of NAIC but largely through the efforts of the ALFA consortia teams, both the raw survey data and their derived data products will be permanently archived and made accessible to the public via the National Virtual Observatory so that the ALFA legacy potential can be fully realized by the astronomical community at large.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.