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Paper: The HST Science Data Archive as a Discovery Tool: First Experiment
Volume: 216, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IX
Page: 223
Authors: Micol, A.; Durand, D.; Schade, D.; Gaudet, S.; Stetson, P.; Pirenne, B.; Benvenuti, P.; Malloci, G.; Raviv, G.
Abstract: The Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre have started a project aimed at augmenting the way an astronomer can query the Hubble Space Telescope science archive. Today the HST archive contains more than 70,000 WFPC2 exposures. We are preparing an automatic pipeline that will extract several parameters from those images. A list of all the sources seen by WFPC2, along with photometrical, morphological and astrometric measurements of both the detected astronomical sources and of the background will be extracted. Astronomers will make use of such a database to query the archive in a more sophisticated and scientific manner, that is in the way they think, not in the way the archive is built. This new approach will allow queries of the kind: search for high latitude fields having a certain limiting magnitude and where the density of extended sources is greater than a certain threshold. Nowadays, with the advent of huge detectors over big fields of view, such an approach becomes a must. The catalogue of extracted objects will be immediately useful to prepare a wide range of scientific programs for the 8 - 10 meter class telescopes, e.g., multi-object spectroscopy of HST sources.
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