The AAO/UKST SuperCOSMOS Hα survey

Quentin A. Parker*, S. Phillipps, M. J. Pierce, M. Hartley, N. C. Hambly, M. A. Read, H. T. MacGillivray, S. B. Tritton, C. P. Cass, R. D. Cannon, M. Cohen, J. E. Drew, D. J. Frew, E. Hopewell, S. Mader, D. F. Malin, M. R W Masheder, D. H. Morgan, R. A H Morris, D. RusseilK. S. Russell, R. N F Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

274 Citations (Scopus)


The UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) of the Anglo-Australian Observatory completed a narrow-band Ha plus [N II] 6548, 6584-Å survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Magellanic Clouds in late 2003. The survey, which was the last UKST wide-field photographic survey and the only one undertaken in a narrow-band, is now an online digital data product of the Wide-Field Astronomy Unit of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (ROE). The survey utilized a high specification, monolithic Ha interference bandpass filter of exceptional quality. In conjunction with the fine-grained Tech-Pan film as a detector it has produced a survey with a powerful combination of area coverage (4000 square degrees), resolution (∼1 arcsec) and sensitivity (≤5 Rayleighs), reaching a depth for continuum point sources of R ≃ 20.5. The main survey consists of 233 individual fields on a grid of centres separated by 4° at declinations below +2° and covers a swathe approximately 20° wide about the Southern Galactic Plane. The original survey films were scanned by the SuperCOSMOS measuring machine at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, to provide the online digital atlas called the SuperCOSMOS Hα Survey (SHS). We present the background of the survey, the key survey characteristics, details and examples of the data product, calibration process, comparison with other surveys and a brief description of its potential for scientific exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-710
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2005


  • Astronomical data bases: miscellaneous
  • Catalogues
  • Photometry
  • Stars: emission line
  • Surveys


Dive into the research topics of 'The AAO/UKST SuperCOSMOS Hα survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this