AAO Newsletter July 96 - Page 8

MSSSO) and users of IRPS will need to use the VAX software. Anyone knowing of a deserving home for the IPCS please let us know.

The decommissioning of these instruments enables us to free a significant amount of room in the control room. Over the next 6 months these instruments will be removed, desks rearranged and a movable partition built to improve the observing environment. The console area will be almost double the present area, the bottleneck at the entry will be removed, and background noise will be reduced by the partition. It is hoped that, by timing any major work to coincide with the aluminising of the mirror, observing will not be disrupted.

Raylee Stathakis

UK Schmidt Sky Catalogues Online

We are pleased to announce that you can now access UK Schmidt Sky Survey data directly on our World Wide Web (WWW) interface to the APM Sky Catalogues, now installed at the AAO, Epping (see http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/surveys/apm/).

In the January 1996 AAO Newsletter we noted that coordinates for the COSMOS/UKST Southern Sky Catalogue are not sufficiently accurate for 2dF use. To cater for 2dF use we have now installed a copy of the APM Catalogues. The catalogues and interface software were kindly provided by Mike Irwin of the APM Facility, Royal Greenwich Observatory. The WWW "forms" interface is still under development and only offers a limited range of options as yet.

The APM Sky Catalogues are like the COSMOS/UKST Southern Sky catalogue in that they provide lists of images extracted automatically from the Schmidt sky surveys. The difference is that they include the Northern sky (POSS-I), both blue and red plates, and have better astrometry (good enough for 2dF use). On the other hand they still avoid the Galactic Plane and the Magellanic Clouds and are not complete where the reel survey plates are not yet available. Please note that although the APM coordinates do not suffer from the systematic errors found in our version of the COSMOS catalogue, they are still based on automated image analysis. It is still important to check the data against the original photographic material (or the Digitized Sky Survey), especially in crowded fields where overlapping images can be merged.

The COSMOS/UKST Southern Sky Catalogue continues to be available via an interactive login (telnet to cosmos.aao.gov.au,username cosmos)but the account now requires a password: please send email to cosmos@aaoepp.aao.gov.au with your name, address and institution to obtain the password. The software has recently been upgraded to add an option to calculate offsets to a target from nearby bright stars-useful for spectroscopy of faint objects.


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