AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 129. Astrometric Surveys
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[129.04] The AC 2000.2 Catalogue

S.E. Urban, T.E. Corbin, G.L. Wycoff (USNO), V.V. Makarov (USRA/USNO), E. H{ø}g, C. Fabricius (CUO)

For over 100 years, the international project known as the Astrographic Catalogue -- which involved 20 observatories tasked to photograph the sky -- has held an unfulfilled promised of yielding a wealth of astrometric information. This promise was not realized due to the inadequate reductions of the project's plates.

However, in 1997 the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) completed the reductions of the 22,660 plates. That catalogue, named the AC 2000, contained positions and magnitudes for 4.6 million stars down to about v magnitude 12.5. Due to the early epochs of the data -- averaging 1907 -- and the positional accuracies -- between 150 and 400 milliarcseconds -- the data are extremely valuable in computing proper motions. In 1997, these positions were used to form the proper motions of the ACT Reference Catalogue.

In 1999, USNO and Copenhagen University Observatory (CUO) partnered to create the Tycho-2 Catalogue. The CUO group re-analyzed the data from the Tycho experiment on the Hipparcos satellite. The USNO group re-analyzed over 140 positional catalogs which were combined with the expanded Tycho positions from the CUO group to compute the Tycho-2 proper motions. The largest contributor to these proper motions was the re-analyzed Astrographic Catalogue; the latest version being known as the AC 2000.2 Catalogue.

There are two major differences between the AC 2000 and the AC 2000.2. First, the reference catalog used in AC 2000.2 was an expanded version of the Astrographic Catalogue Reference Stars that was rigorously derived on the Hipparcos Celestial Reference Frame. The second is that AC 2000.2 contains photometry from Tycho-2, where available. A description of the AC 2000.2 Catalogue, the reduction techniques used, how it compares with the 1997 version, and information on obtaining the data will be presented.

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