UKIDSS is the next generation near-infrared sky survey, the successor to 2MASS. UKIDSS began in May 2005 and will survey 7500 square degrees of the Northern sky, extending over both high and low Galactic latitudes, in JHK to K=18.3. This depth is three magnitudes deeper than 2MASS. UKIDSS will be the true near-infrared counterpart to the Sloan survey, and will produce as well a panoramic clear atlas of the Galactic plane. In fact UKIDSS is made up of five surveys and includes two deep extra-Galactic elements, one covering 35 square degrees to K=21, and the other reaching K=23 over 0.77 square degrees.
The survey instrument is WFCAM on the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii. WFCAM has four 2048x2048 Rockwell devices, at 94% spacing. The pixel scale of 0.4 arcsec gives an exposed solid angle of 0.21 sq. degs.
Four of the principal quarry of UKIDSS are: the coolest and nearest brown dwarfs, high-redshift dusty starburst galaxies, elliptical galaxies and galaxy clusters at redshifts 1‹z‹2, and the highest-redshift quasars, at z=7. UKIDSS aims to discover the nearest object to the Sun (outside the solar system) as well as some of the farthest known objects in the Universe.
The UKIDSS Consortium is a collection of some 100 astronomers who are responsible for the design and execution of the survey. The data become available to the entire ESO community immediately they are entered into the archive. Release to the world follows 18 months after each release to ESO.
- 10 Feb 2006 The UKIDSS Early Data Release (EDR) is now available.
- 21July 2006 The UKIDSS First Data Release (DR1) is now available.
The UKIDSS data access policy explains the rules for sharing UKIDSS data with astronomers from outside ESO.
This text is taken from the UKIDSS website. For further information, please go to the main site http://www.ukidss.org/.