AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 91 Surveys and Catalogs
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[91.02] The Palomar-Quest Survey

S.G. Djorgovski (Caltech), C. Baltay, A. Mahabal, M. Graham, R. Williams, M. Bogosavljevic, D. Rabinowitz, A. Bauer, N. Ellman, R. Lauer, S. Duffau, P. Andrews (Yale), A. Rengstorf, R. Brunner (UIUC/NCSA), J. Musser, M. Gebhard, S. Mufson (Indiana), PQ Collaboration

Palomar-Quest (PQ; http://www.astro.caltech.edu/pq/) is a major new digital synoptic sky survey which uses the 112-CCD Quest2 camera at the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch Samuel Oschin Schmidt telescope. The survey covers the sky in the range -25\circ < \delta < +25\circ in dithered drift scan strips ~4.6\circ wide, with an area coverage of ~500 ~deg2 per clear night, in 4 filters. The scans are obtained in Cousins UBRI and SDSS r'i'z'z' bands, with at least two passes obtained each year with each filter set, providing time baselines ranging from minutes (from one CCD to the next) to days, months, and years; and in federation with older sky surveys, up to a few decades. The limiting magnitudes in coadded data for a single season are comparable to SDSS. As a separate effort, the telescope and camera are used by groups at JPL (NEAT) and Caltech, in a point-and-stare mode, for exploration of the Solar system; these data can be also used for the studies of the time domain. The data rate is up to ~1 TB/month, and the processing and archiving is done at Caltech, Yale, and NCSA.

The PQ survey will enable a broad range of science. Some of the projects under way include a major, systematic search for strongly lensed QSOs, to be used as cosmological and dark matter probes, and a survey for high-z QSOs (z ~ 4 - 6.5), to be used as probes of reionization and early structure formation. Studies of the time domain are another major scientific driver. We are working towards a real-time discovery of transient and highly variable objects and phenomena. The PQ survey is a scientific and technological precursor for the more ambitious synoptic sky survey in the future.

The PQ survey also has the Virtual Observatory (VO) connections, standards, and protocols built in from the start, and will be one of the major data providers for the VO. The data will be made public on a rapid schedule, following the appropriate quality control and scientific validation tests.

The PQ survey and its IT components are supported by generous grants from the NSF (AST-0407448, AST-0326524) and other funding sources.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.caltech.edu/pq/. 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.

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