SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey

Approximately 75% of SkyMapper's observing time will be initially dedicated to the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky.

Features of the Southern Sky Survey include:

  • Multi-colour, multi-epoch of all 20000 sq. degrees south of equator (ugriz & stromgren-like v filters)
  • Data supplied to the community via All-Sky Virtual Observatory
  • Star and Galaxy photometry (3% absolute calibration)
  • Astrometry (better than 50 mas )
  • Digital images available for download, photometrically calibrated, with accurate World Coordinate Systems, both single images and combined images.

The table below summarises the expected survey depth (2.5" seeing) for a signal-to-noise ratio of 5 in AB mags:

  u v g r i z
1 EPOCH 19.5 19.5 21.0 21.0 20.0 19.0
SATURATION 10.0 10.5 13.0 13.0 11.0 10.5
EXP. TIME (s) 100 100 100 100 100 100
FINAL DEPTH 20.5 20.5 21.7 21.7 20.7 19.7
In addition, a 5-Second Survey will be undertaken in photometric conditions for calibration of stars from 9th to 16th magnitude in all bands. This will provide the calibration of the survey and will allow the survey to be tied to the Hipparchos and Tycho catalogs (and other photometric standard systems that are established in the southern hemisphere) to ensure uniformity across the sky.
Southern Sky Survey science goals include:
  • Census of bright end of TNO and Centaur population, especially off the ecliptic plane
  • Galactic census – metallicity, gravity, temperature, variability of many millions of stars
  • Mapping the structure of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds
  • Searching for new dwarf galaxy companions to the Milky Way
  • Discovery of up to 500 SNe over 5 years
  • Phot-Z samples of z<0.5 galaxies for studies of Large Scale Structure (e.g. Int-Sachs wolf, Paczynski-Alcock)
  • QSO discovery, variability, evolution
  • Bright z>6 Quasars
  • Digital reference for radio, X-Ray, GRB instruments
  • An astrometric and photometric basis for the Virtual Observatory
Non-survey science identified to be undertaken with the telescope includes:
  • Planet transit studies
  • Microlensing studies
  • Supernovae
  • Widefield surveys in non-survey filters

Survey progress

Main survey

Total fields First colour sequence complete Grey sky pairs complete Bright sky pairs complete Full sequence complete
4055 1147 (28.3 %) 1088 (26.8 %) 3449 (85.1 %) 461 (11.4 %)

Short survey

Total fields Fields started Fields complete
4055 4064 (100.2 %) 4046 (99.8 %)

Updated at: 16/01/2017 21:00 UTC

Updated:  18 January 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSAA Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster