AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 38 Observation and Instrumentation : Optical
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[38.11] The Palomar-Quest Synoptic Sky Survey

A. Mahabal, S. G. Djorgovski, M. Graham, R. Williams, B. Granett, M. Bogosavljevic (CalTech), C. Baltay, D. Rabinowitz, A. Bauer, P. Andrews, N. Morgan, J. Snyder, N. Ellman (Yale), R. Brunner, A. W. Rengstorf (NCSA/UIUC), J. Musser, M. Gebhard, S. Mufson (Indiana U.)

Exploration of the time domain is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting areas of astronomy. The Palomar-Quest synoptic sky survey has recently started producing a steady stream of data. In driftscan mode the survey covers Declination strips 4.6 deg wide, between -25 and +30 deg, at least twice in each of the two filter sets, one Johnson-Cousin's UBRI and one SDSS r'i'z'z', at a rate of about 500 square degrees per night. The scans are separated by time baselines of days to months, and we anticipate that they will extend to multi-year time scales over the next 3 to 5 years or beyond.

The unprecedented amount of data makes this the largest synoptic survey of its kind both in terms of area covered and depth. We would search for both variable and transient objects, including supernovae, variable AGN, GRB orphan afterglows, cataclysmic variables, interesting stellar flares, novae, other types of variable stars, and possibly even entirely new types of objects or phenomena.

We are in the process of designing a real-time data reduction pipeline which would enable a rapid discovery and spectroscopic follow-up of transients and other intersting objects.

This survey can be seen as a precursor for the even larger synoptic sky surveys with LSST and PanSTARRS.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~aam/science/quest/index.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: aam@astro.caltech.edu

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