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Digital Sky Surveys from the Ground: Status and Perspectives

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The Universe of Digital Sky Surveys

Part of the book series: Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings ((ASSSP,volume 42))

Abstract

I first review the status of Digital Sky Surveys. The focus will be on extragalactic surveys with an area of more than 100 deg2. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the archetype of such imaging surveys and it is its great success that has prompted great activity in this field. The latest surveys explore wider, fainter and higher resolution and also a longer wavelength range than SDSS. Many of these surveys overlap particularly in the S Hemisphere where we now have Pan-STARRS, DES and the ESO VST surveys, and our aim here is to compare their properties. Since there is no dedicated article on the VST ATLAS in this symposium, we shall especially review the properties of this particular survey. This easily fits onto our other main focus which is to compare overlapping Southern Surveys and see how they best fit with the available NIR imaging data. We conclude that the Southern Hemisphere will soon overtake the North in terms of multiwavelength imaging. However we note that the South has more limited opportunities for spectroscopic follow-up and this weakness will persist during the LSST era. Some new perspectives are offered on this and other aspects of survey astronomy.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    PS1 is the first of 4 planned Pan-STARRS telescopes.

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Acknowledgements

I should like to thank N. Metcalfe and B. Chehade (Durham Univ.), M.J.Irwin and E. Gonzalez-Solares (CASU Cambridge) and R.G. Mann, M.A. Read and colleagues from WFAU, Edinburgh for all their help with the VST ATLAS survey. We are also deeply grateful to the OmegaCAM and VST teams and the ESO VST observers whose dedication makes the ESO VST surveys possible. I should also like to thank K Kuijken (Leiden), A.C. Edge (Durham), O. Lahav (UCL) and S. Smartt (QUB) for allowing me to present their images illustrating highlights from the KiDS, VIKING, DES and PanSTARRS surveys. Finally I should like to thank the Scientific Organising Committee for inviting me to give this review at the Universe of Digital Sky Surveys meeting in honour of the 70th birthday of Prof. Massimo Capaccioli.

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Correspondence to T. Shanks .

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Shanks, T. (2016). Digital Sky Surveys from the Ground: Status and Perspectives. In: Napolitano, N., Longo, G., Marconi, M., Paolillo, M., Iodice, E. (eds) The Universe of Digital Sky Surveys. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings, vol 42. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19330-4_2

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