The USNO CCD Astrograph Catalog (UCAC) Project and Beyond
The goal of this project is to map the entire sky to provide high accuracy positions and proper motions for stars in the magnitude range of 8 to 16. For 10 to 14th magnitude stars a standard error of 20 mas and 1–2 mas/year, respectively, is expected. The 20-cm aperture U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) astrograph with a 4K CCO is being used at CTIO, Chile (1998 to 2001) and later at Flagstaff, Arizona. This extension of the Hipparcos system is tied directly to the extragalactic reference frame with additional observations performed at 1-meter class telescopes. By 2004 the final catalog of about 60 million stars is expected. The preliminary UCAC data already has had an impact on minor planet observing and projects like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SOSS) and the 2-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). An outlook is given for similar, even more ambitious, future projects, utilizing the wide field of view, which is available with such astrographs.
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