APASS news for September 4, 2011
APASS-south is back up and running. The new camera is looking good! We had an additional problem with the filter wheel, where the index sensor got dirty, but the CTIO technician cleaned things and got it working. The big hold-up is the weather, which has been pretty poor. The past week has been cirrusy, and last night the freezing fog rolled in. The forecast is for improving weather this week, so I hope to get a few nights before full moon. In about a month, the good weather season will return and we will make a lot of progress quickly.
APASS-north is waiting for a replacement primary mirror for one of the OTAs. This should be shipped within a week, and installed shortly thereafter. We haven't been pressing ASA for the replacement, as -north is in the midst of the southwestern monsoon and there hasn't been any photometric weather. That will change in about two weeks when the moisture flow shuts off and clear skies return.
DR3 has been released and is on the web site. This totals 19 million stars in about 15,000 square degrees, with the best coverage in the south. UCAC has adopted APASS photometry and will include it in their next data release (UCAC4). It has been used to improve the native photometry from the UCAC telescope as well, removing much of the nonlinear signature from that photometry and doing a better job of calibrating the global zeropoint.
The next data release is expected in December, and should complete the southern hemisphere two-pass imaging. We will then start the final offset imaging to give 4 passes at each location; this should be done in 2012 barring additional hardware mishaps.