AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 15. Blazar Variability
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[15.02] The QUEST Large-Area Equatorial Survey

P. Coppi, J. Snyder (Yale University), QUEST Collaboration

The QUEST (Quasar Equatorial Survey Team) collaboration, a joint venture between Yale University, Indiana University, and CIDA in Venezuela, has instrumented the focal plane of the 1m CIDA Schmidt telescope with an 8k \times 8k CCD mosaic camera. The camera operates in driftscan mode, covering a ~ 300 sq.deg. (2.4\circ\times120\circ) swath of sky in one night. Using filters, we obtain up to 4 colors per object simultaneously, and using the telescope's 3.2\circ objective prism, we obtain slitless (10-30 Åresolution) spectra for all objects. With the current version of the instrument, the equatorial sky between \delta=±6\circ is accessible (~ 2000 sq.deg. in a typical season). The camera is well-suited for large-area objective prism and variability studies. We present an overview of the camera and data system, and highlight some of our first science results. These include: the detection of the optical afterglow from a gamma-ray burst with a 2 degree radius error box only 3 hours after the event; the detection of new, faint (mb ~18-19) RR Lyrae stars; a multi-band, multi-epoch survey of the entire Orion OB1 association (~120 sq.deg.) to V\alt 20, in order to obtain a comprehensive census of the low mass young stellar population (down to ~0.2\> M\odot); and a 700 sq. deg H\alpha emission line catalog containing \approx 700 objects with redshifts 0-1.8) and the discovery of several ``red" quasars.

\noindent (The observations reported here were made at the Observatorio Nacional de Llano del Hato, Mérida, Venezuela, operated by the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronom{\'i}a [CIDA] and supported by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cient{\'i}ficas y Tecnológicas [CONICIT]).

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://hepwww.physics.yale.edu/www_info/astro/quest.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: coppi@astro.yale.edu

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