Digital Optical Sky Surveys

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Session 35 -- Digitizing the Sky Part I
Oral presentation, Tuesday, 31, 1994, 8:30-12:30

[35.02] Digital Optical Sky Surveys

R. Kron (Fermilab)

Cameras containing arrays of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) (or which are otherwise capable of sustained high data rates) enable optical sky surveys that compete in efficiency with photographic surveys in terms of area of sky covered per unit observing time. There are gains in performance as well as efficiency: stellar photometry is more straightforward because of the higher dynamic range of CCDs, and the low noise of CCDs allows narrow-band surveys to be undertaken. The small dead-time between exposures allows surveys for rapid variability as well as near-simultaneous color measurements. The most important new prospect may be real-time (or quasi-real-time) analysis for identification of sources changing either in position or in brightness. These gains come only after substantial investment in analysis tools and data handling and storage systems. To illustrate some of this potential, this review will focus on a number of sky surveys with CCDs that are either under way or in advanced planning stages.

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