Brief Summary of Parameters for each Search:


This is a brief summary of the search plans for each group. See LinCal for a detailed calender:

MOSAIC search:

The MOSAIC search at KPNO being carried out by the CTIO SN group has obtained reference/template images during Dec 8-15. They are now scheduled to search and obtain more references Feb 20-24, and to search again Mar 4-8. The MOSAIC is an 8Kx8K array of thinned CCD's, and for this search it is being used on the KPNO 0.9-m. This gives a field of roughly 1 deg x 1 deg, and scale of 0.43 arcsec/pixel. The search team is taking pairs of 2 min exposures, and the readout time is 2.5 minutes, resulting in a minimum of 9 minutes per field and thus a coverage rate of approximately 6 degrees per hour. The search is being conducted in the Kron-Cousins R-band.

The data will be searched by the CTIO SN group using a hybrid of software written by Brian Schmidt and Lou Strolger running on two PC's at the summit. Connected to one of the PC's will be two 18 Gb disks loaned by the SCP. On a daily basis one of these disks, containing the last night's data, will be sent from Kitt Peak to Tucson via the KPNO shuttle, collected by a shipping company, and sent to LBL, arriving by early evening. There the data will be searched using the standard SCP software package. This is the only survey with a redundant search.

QUEST search:

The QUEST search utilizes a 1-meter Schmidt telescope in Venezuala along with a CCD array built by the Physics department at Yale to drift-scan a 2.3 degree high strip near the celestial equator. The scale is roughly 1 arcsec/pixel, but the seeing is roughly 2 arcsec so the images are critically sampled. The strip will span the north Galactic cap from 8h < RA < 16h (or so), giving an areal coverage of roughly 275 square degrees. The plan is to scan this same strip every night during the period of Mar 7 to Mar 27.

The current plan is for reference images to be taken Feb 18 and 19, with Feb 22-25 as backup. For the search itself, once two nights of good data have been collected an astronomer will fly back to Yale where the data tapes will be loaded and processed through the standard QUEST pipeline. Thereafter the data will be searched at Yale using the SCP software, as implemented by Nancy Ellman and Rob Knop. The hope is to have the data arrive at Yale the night after the second good night of observations. QUEST pipeline processing is expected to take an additional day, and searching yet another day.

EROS search:

The EROS search will be a slightly shallower version of their on-going search (ERSO usually takes two 5 minute exposures but will instead take two 2.5 minute exposures). EROS uses a 1-m telescope at ESO equipped with an array of eight 2048x2048 CCDs covering 42 arcmin x 84 arcmin. The scale is 0.6 arcsec/pixel. Roughly 20 square degrees is covered in a typcial partial night.

Jim Rich reports that in January EROS obtained 240 square degrees of reference images under good conditions. Numerous SNe were discovered, indicating that the EROS search software is working properly. EROS searches will take place Feb 10-20 and Mar 10-20.

El Roble search:

The El Roble search is an on-going photographic search for supernova being conducted by Jose Maza. The field is 5 x 5 degrees, roughly 10 plates can be obtained per night, and several 8-night runs are scheduled.

SpaceWatch search:

SpaceWatch is a near-earth asteroid search run by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab (LPL) using a 0.9-m f/5.0 telescope at the Steward Observatory site on Kitt Peak. The detector is a 2048x2048 CCD operating with a Schott OG515 filter. The scale is 1.05"/pixel, and an image subtends 32 arcmin in Dec and 35 arcmin in RA. The telescope is operated in driftscan mode, scannning each region three consecutive times for 28 minutes each (resetting to the start requires an additional 2 minutes. The effective exposure time is 143/cos(dec) seconds and each region subtends 420 x 32 arcmin, or 3.7 square degrees. On a good night the survey generates roughly 2 Gb of data and covers about 18 square degrees.

When possible, regions are rescanned 6 and 12 days later. However, the number of regions with 3 acceptable scans spanning 12 days is considerably less than 15 square degrees per night multiplied by the number of nights, since weather or bad seeing can prevent a complete "superscan" of 3 sets of 3 passes spanning 12 days. SpaceWatch estimates that about 100 sq. degrees per month are covered more than once with a 6 day or larger gap.

SpaceWatch is set to observe during the period Feb 4-24 and Mar 5-24. SpaceWatch data will be written to exabyte on-site, handed off to the KPNO noon shuttle for transport to Tucson, collected from KPNO downtown headquarters by LPL students, read onto disk at LPL, and converted to FITS. The SCP will then FTP the data from LPL to LBL and process it. Regions which have a second epoch will then be searched with the standard SCP software.

NEAT search:

NEAT uses a 1-m telescope on Haleakala, Maui to search for near-earth asteroids. The telescope is run by the United States Air Force. The detector is a 4Kx4k thermoelectrically-cooled CCD. The pixel scale is 1.41"/pix and the field of view is roughly 1.6 deg x 1.6 deg. Over the course of an hour each field is observed three times with exposure times of 20 seconds and readout times of 20 s. At this rate NEAT can cover over 600 sq degrees per night. Tests with the SCP software indicate that stars with V ~ 18.7 should have S/N > 5 in the subtraction of new and reference images after coaddition of the three exposures taken at each epoch.

The schedule for NEAT is very uncertain due to work being done on the USAF 1-m. The current best estimate is that 6 nights of searching will commence the night of Feb 17.


Greg Aldering (galdering@lbl.gov)