Archives of Photographic PLates for Astronomical USE

Large Surveys with Small Telescopes, Posters

N. Bazyey Monitoring of space objects using Odessa observatory network of telescopes

In this paper we are presenting optical telescopes of Astronomical Observatory of I. I. Mechnikov Odessa National University. We are describing technical characteristics and scientific program for each telescope. Here we also present a description of the tools with which the unique collections of astroplates were obtained under the program “The Sky Service”. Odessa Observatory (46.28° N, 30.45° E, altitude 64 m, observation code 086) its outlying observation posts: Mayaki (46.39° N, 30.27° E, altitude 25 m, observation code 583) and Kryzhanovka (46.37° N, 30.48° E, altitude 40 m, observation code A85) have a good geographical location (southwestern part of the territory of Ukraine), as well as a good astroclimate (up to 200 clear nights). Telescopes are equipped with modern CCD and PMT light detectors. Odessa Observatory has its own mechanical and optical workshops which are used to create new telescopes and manufacture and repair of other astronomical equipment.

N. Bazyey Astronegative archive of Odessa observatory

Currently, Observatory of I.I. Mechnikov Odessa National University owns collections of astronegatives obtained with its own instruments (about 100000 glass plates), as well as those obtained with instruments from other observatories (about 10000 plates). According to Bulgarian web-page WFPDB ( Odessa collection of astroplates is second in Europe (after Sonneberg collection) and third in the world (after Harvard and Sonneberg). In this poster we describe the current condition of our collection and consider our plans for how to maintain this important astronomical heritage. We are also discussing our first steps in digitizing part of a collection in accordance with the decision of the world virtual observatory and WFPDB standards.


I.B. Vavilowa et al. On the FON astroplate project accomplishment

The plan for a photographic survey of the northern sky (FON) was proposed at the Golosiiv observatory (Main Astronomical Observatory, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine) in the late 1970-ies [Pakuliak et al., 2016; Vavilova, 2016; Vavilova et al., 2017]. The last compilation of the final catalog of objects involves 5,700 digitized astroplates of four observatories: MAO NAS of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine) [Andruk et al., 2016], Kitab Astronomical Observatory (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) [Yuldoshev et al., 2017], Gissar Astronomical Observatory (Dushanbe, Tajikistan) [Mullo-Abdolov et al., 2017, 2018], and the observatory in Baldone (Latvia) [Eglitis, 2017]. The consolidated catalog of positions and B-magnitudes of stars will cover the declination range from -20 to +90 degrees [Andruk et al., 2017]. The average epoch of the catalog is approximately 1987, the B-magnitude is ~ 17.5m. Positions of objects will be obtained in the Tycho-2 reference system and B-values in the reference frame of photoelectric standards. The roadmap of compilation includes corrections for the presence of the photometric color equation in B-values. Stellar magnitudes in U and V color bands have been obtaining by processing more than 5,400 plates exposed by the 1.2m Schmidt telescope in Baldone Observatory. The U, B, V magnitudes for stars brighter than V$<$8.5m will be added from the existing photoelectric star catalogs. To determine the proper motions of stars, it is planned to use the GAIA project data. To date, the following has been done:

  1. On the basis of 2260 processed astroplates of Kyiv part of the FON project the catalog of positions and B magnitudes of 24.7 million objects down to B ≤ 16.5m was created. The catalog covers the northern hemisphere with δ from -4 to +90 degrees. The mean epoch of the catalog is 1988.2. The internal accuracy of the catalog for all the objects is σα,δ = ±0.28″ in positions and σB = ±0.17m in magnitudes (for stars in the range of B = 7m -14m these errors are σα,δ= ±0.13″ and σB = ±0.08m). The convergence between obtained and reference positions is estimated as σα,δ = ±0.06″. For magnitudes, this value is σB = ±0.14m.
  2. On the basis of 1963 processed astroplates of the Kitab part of the FON project, the catalog of positions and B-magnitudes of 13.4 million objects down to B ≤ 17.5m was completed. The catalog covers the declination zone from -20.5 to +2.5 degrees. The mean epoch is 1985.0. The internal accuracy of the catalog for all the objects is σα,δ = ±0.23″ in positions and σB = ±0.15m in magnitudes. These errors are σα,δ = ±0.085″ and ?B = ±0.054m for stars brighter than 14m. The convergence between calculated and reference positions is σα,δ = ±0.042″. This value is σB = ±0.16m for photoelectric B-magnitudes,
  3. The FON glass collection of Institute of Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan includes around 1560 photographic plates. The first results of 130 plates’ processing show that the positional errors are σα,δ = 0.33″, and photometric ones are σB = 0.12m for the photometric interval of 5m … 17m. The convergence between calculated and reference positions of Tycho2 is σα,δ = 0.12″, the same value for obtained and reference Tycho2 magnitudes is σBT = 0.19m. The convergence of photometric estimations with photoelectric values is σB = 0.14m.
  4. To obtain another two color bands for the enhancement of the photometric system of the created catalog, the digitization and processing of U and V plates from the Baldone glass collection of 1.2m Schmidt telescope are on their way. The collection includes 780 and 4660 astroplates in the appropriate colors.

I.B. Vavilowa et al. On the “solar system small bodies” astroplate project of the Ukrainian Virtual Observatory

A new approach for creation of the catalogs of astrometric and photometric characteristics of small bodies of the Solar system

We obtained from digitized photographic observations of the UkrVO Joint Digital Archive and newest digitized data processing services:

  • Catalogs of coordinates and magnitudes of asteroids
  • Catalog of positions and B-values of Pluto
  • Catalogs of the satellites of Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune

P. Kroll Sonneberg Observatory PHotographic Image Archive

Sonneberg Observatory harbours approx. 275,000 astronomical glass plates and films taken with different instruments and at different sites between 1923 and 2010. More than 85\% (237,000 plates) have been digitized in the last years forming SOPHIASonneberg Observatory PHotographic Image Archive with 25 TB of raw image data. Currently effort is taken to find WCS solutions for all digitized plates of the Sky Patrol as these form a homogeneous sub collection (about 150,000 plates) of more or less equal scale (825″/mm), limiting magnitude (14.5m in pg (blue); 13.5m in pv (yellow/red)), emulsions and time coverage (1954 — 2010).


M. Ennes, W. Fürtig Showing the possibility of N(ear)R(eal)T(ime) creation of WCS solutions with solvefield for a complete sky survey

The detection of fast moving or new objects on sky surveys with small cameras depend largely on the creation of a valid WCS solution for each image. A short time for detecting these objects on images is crucial for subsequent time critical actions to be taken. For comparing found sources with online catalogs a valid WCS is neeeded. The more time spent for getting an initial or iterative wcs solution the less time for other tasks is left over. Experiences with solvefield applied to single field images in the past showed different parameter sets as an optimum for each field. Getting th optimum parameters for solving each field of a survey cant’t be done manually if n(ear) r(eal) t(ime) processing should be achieved. An automated process needs a near optimum parameter set to be used for all fields of the survey to minimize overall solving time for all images but not only for some.

This work focusses on the possibility of getting duration minimized parameter sets for an ( initial ) astrometric solving of a sky survey.

Several sets are checked on real images and are evaluated for being possible candidates for an automated detection process. The criteria choosen to be satiesfied is that the duration of getting a WCS solution should no longer last than one third of an exposure time of one image. The other two thirds should be sufficient for improving the WCS, retrieving the online/offline catalog data, doing the comparison and some kind of alerting. The fullfillment of this criteria is considered to be valid for a n(ear) r(eal) t(ime) creation of a WCS solution.

In the first part about 65 randomly choosen digital images of different sky areas are solved with 36 parameter sets. Characteristics of the solutions like duration and found sources are compared. Some hints for getting a good parameter set is given.

The second part takes a detailed look on the parametrisation of several solvefield runs. Possible enhancements are discussed and an outlook for further investigations is given.


S. Schuhmacher Sonneberg Observatory Digital All-Sky Survey

Sonneberg Observatory run photographic sky surveys (Sky Patrol and Field Patrol) from 1923 through 2010, the plates of which have mostly been digitized. The goal of continuation of the surveys by digital means has gradually been realized by fish-eye cameras and small telescopes monitoring of selected fields. The talk provides a brief overview on current scanning, observing and analysing activities.


R. Hudec Astronomical plates digitization by digital camera

Digitization by transportable device based on digital camera represents alternative technique for astronomical plate archives digitization worldwide. Several plate collections were digitized this way, e.g. Tuorla, Mexico, and Hewitt UK. Digitization of astronomical plate archives in Austria is planned for 2019. The technique is very fast, hence inexpensive, still providing scientific grade accuracy.

T. Döring Segmented infrared filters for the 1.3m telescope in the Slovak Tatra Mountains

Since 2015, the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences is operating a modern EU-funded reflecting telescope with a 130 cm primary mirror, located in the Skalnaté Pleso Observatory in the Tatra Mountains at an altitude of 1783 m. The systematic observation of comets and binary systems on the northern hemisphere occurs with this instrument. In 2018, the funding agency BAYHOST (Bavarian Academic Center for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe) granted the proposed project SLOBATCO (an abbreviation for Slovak-Bavarian Telescope Collaboration) to Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences. The cooperation project pursues the development of astronomical NIR filters, which are designed for the atmospheric transmission windows in the infrared spectral range. In order to avoid a complex cryogenic filter wheel for the NIR CCD camera operated at low temperatures, the observations should be realized through a segmented filter using precise shifts of the image field. The bi-national cooperation project and the specification of the infrared filter combination are presented in this poster contribution.

C. Gössl Wendelstein Observatory – Going from diverse observation programs and hardware to reduced data ready for science

Wendelstein Observatory (University of Munich, LMU) offers a wide range of observational capabilities, i.e. a 2m telescope with its three operational imaging and spectroscopic instruments and a 40cm telescope for students lab and monitoring projects.
We describe how we schedule observations, monitor and archive science and technical data of the instruments, and how data gets processed to finally extract science from it.