Background and first results from the new AAO/UKST Hα survey

Quentin A. Parker*, Steven Phillipps

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)


    The UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) has just embarked on a new Hα survey of the Southern Galactic Plane, Magellanic Clouds and selected regions using a specially designed, high-specification, monolithic, interference filter. It is probably the largest of its kind for astronomy. It is being used in combination with Kodak Tech Pan film-based emulsion. This emulsion not only has a useful sensitivity peak at Hα but also possesses extremely fine grain and an exceptionally high DQE for the hypersensitised product (∼10%). This leads to excellent imaging, sensitivity and low noise. It is clear that CCDs cannot yet match the wide-area coverage, uniformity and resolution of the UKST/Tech Pan combination for undertaking such a survey. The survey will initially include about 233 Galactic Plane and 40 Magellanic Cloud fields on 4-degree centres and will take about 3 years to complete. Some preliminary images from the new survey are presented and compared with the best previously available from the UKST. Examples of the first survey discoveries, new resolved Galactic planetary nebulae, are also given. This survey will have an unprecedented combination of area coverage, depth and resolution, superior to those of any previous optical survey of ionised gas in the Galaxy. Many new discoveries and research avenues are expected.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28-32
    Number of pages5
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998


    • HII regions
    • Instrumentation: detectors
    • ISM
    • Stars: formation
    • Surveys
    • Techniques: interferometric


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