As part of the UK accession to ESO, it was agreed that all astronomers in ESO member states would have access to the data from the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS - http://www.ukidss.org). This exciting survey is 3 magnitudes deeper than 2MASS over 7 500 square degrees, as well as having small deep areas, all the way down to a one square degree Ultra Deep Survey to K = 23. UKIDSS is therefore the real equivalent to optical sky surveys such as those from the Palomar, UK and ESO Schmidt telescopes, and the SDSS (see The Messenger, 108, 31). A substantial fraction of the survey is in the southern sky. The survey is being carried out by the new UKIRTWide Field Camera (WFCAM), which has just been commissioned - see the press release at http:// outreach.jach.hawaii.edu/pressroom/2004- wfcam/). The survey starts in March and will take seven years. There will be a sequence of releases, each of which is available only to ESO astronomers (and a small additional list of individuals in Japan) for eighteen months, following which the data become public worldwide.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2005|