Sky surveys have played a fundamental role in advancing our understanding of the cosmos. The current pictures of stellar evolution and structure and kinematics of our Galaxy were made possible by the extensive photographic and spectrographic programs performed in the early part of the 20th century. The Palomar Sky Survey, completed in the 1950s, is still the principal source for many investigations. In the past few decades surveys have been undertaken at radio, millimeter, infrared, and x-ray wavelengths; each has provided insights into new astronomical phenomena (e.g., quasars, pulsars, and the 3° cosmic background radiation). The advent of high quantum efficiency, linear solid-state devices, in particular charged-coupled detectors, has brought about a revolution in optical astronomy. With the recent development of large-format charged-coupled detectors and the rapidly increasing capabilities of data acquisition and processing systems, it is now feasible to employ the full capabilities of electronic detectors in projects that cover an appreciable fraction of the sky. This talk reviews the first "large scale" charged-coupled detector survey. This program, designed to detect very distant quasars, reveals the powers and limitations of charged-coupled detector surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9751-9753
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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