The KPNO International Spectroscopic Survey. I. Description of the survey

John J. Salzer, Caryl Gronwall, Valentin A. Lipovetsky, Alexei Kniazev, J. Ward Moody, Todd A. Boroson, Trinh X. Thuan, Yuri I. Izotov, Jose L. Herrero, Lisa M. Frattare

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The KPNO International Spectroscopic Survey (KISS) is a new objective-prism survey for extragalactic emission-line objects. It combines many of the features of previous slitless spectroscopic surveys that were carried out with Schmidt telescopes using photographic plates with the advantages of modern CCD detectors. It is the first purely digital objective-prism survey, and it extends previous photographic surveys to substantially fainter flux limits. In this, the first paper in the series, we give an overview of the survey technique, describe our data processing procedures, and present examples of the types of objects found by KISS. Our first Hα-selected survey list detects objects at the rate of 18.1 deg-2, which is 181 times higher than the surface density of the Markarian survey. Since the sample is line selected, there is an imposed redshift limit of z ≲ 0.095 due to the filter employed for the objective-prism observations. We evaluate the quality of the observed parameters derived from the survey data, which include accurate astrometry, photometry, redshifts, and line fluxes. Finally, we describe some of the many applications the KISS database will have for addressing specific questions in extragalactic astronomy. Subsequent papers in this series will present our survey lists of emission-line galaxy candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-94
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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