Archives of Photographic PLates for Astronomical USE

Project description

The APPLAUSE project aims at digitizing photographic plates in the archives of Hamburg, Bamberg and Potsdam observatories. The plates are digitized with high-resolution flatbed scanners. In addition, the corresponding plate envelopes and observation logbooks are digitized, and further metadata are entered into the database. See this astroplate wiki page for descriptions of the workflow. Digitized plate images are processed and a catalogue of extracted sources with sky coordinates and photometry is published.

The project is not limited to the plate archives of the partner institutions, but will also integrate other archives, both national and international, that have been digitized already. Contracts with the Zentrum für Astronomie Heidelberg, the Landessternwarte Thüringen, the University of Jena and Tartu observatory (Estonia) have been signed. The goal of the project is not limited to extracting, calibrating and storing the data, but also to link them to other modern data sets from ground-based and spaceborne observatories, that is, to facilitate their use in modern research in astronomy. Therefore, the project was named Archives of Photographic PLates for Astronomical USE (APPLAUSE).

Three institutes are participating in the project phase I:

The work is carried out within the project "Digitalisierung astronomischer Fotoplatten und ihre Integration in das internationale Virtual Observatory", funded by the DFG.

In February 2016, the project got an extension grant from DFG, to continue publishing plates, this time not only from the partnering institutes, but also from Observatories of Tautenburg and Jena, and other institutes. For project phase II the above mentioned observatories are included in the Data Release specific acknowledgements, if their plates are ingested.