[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The GSC-II is an all-sky database of objects derived from the uncompressed DSS that the STScI has created from the Palomar and UK Schmidt survey plates and made available to the community. Like its predecessor (GSC-I), the GSC-II was primarily created to provide guide star information and observation planning support for HST. This version, however, is already employed at some of the ground-based new-technology telescopes such as GEMINI, VLT, and TNG, and will also be used to provide support for the JWST and Gaia space missions as well as LAMOST, one of the major ongoing scientific projects in China. Two catalogs have already been extracted from the GSC-II database and released to the astronomical community. A magnitude-limited (R=18.0) version, GSC2.2, was distributed soon after its production in 2001, while the GSC2.3 release has been available for general access since 2007. The GSC2.3 catalog described in this paper contains astrometry, photometry, and classification for 945,592,683 objects down to the magnitude limit of the plates. Positions are tied to the ICRS; for stellar sources, the all-sky average absolute error per coordinate ranges from 0.2" to 0.28" depending on magnitude. When dealing with extended objects, astrometric errors are 20% worse in the case of galaxies and approximately a factor of 2 worse for blended images. Stellar photometry is determined to 0.13-0.22 mag as a function of magnitude and photographic passbands (B,R,I). Outside of the galactic plane, stellar classification is reliable to at least 90% confidence for magnitudes brighter than R=19.5, and the catalog is complete to R=20. Comment: 52 pages, 33 figures, to be published in AJ August 2008
The Astronomical Journal 07/2008; · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-resolution X-ray imaging data obtained with ROSAT is used to constrain the nature of the central compact source in the supernova remnant G27.4+0.0. Diffuse emission is seen from throughout the approximately 4 min diameter radio shell, while the central source remains unresolved at approximately 3 sec. We combine archival data from the Einstein HRI, IPC, and MPC with the ROSAT HRI data to define the X-ray spectra of the diffuse and point-like emission. The bulk of the shell radiation is consistent with that of a approximately 10(exp 7) K plasma, although a higher temperature component is also suggested by the data; coupled with the remnant's size and distance, we derive an age of between 500 and 2500 yr. The point source has a substantially harder spectrum, with a power-law photon index less than or approximately equal to 1. A search for periodic modulation from the point source yields upper limits ranging from 10%-35% for periods between 0.025 and 1000 s, depending on the assumed pulse shape. No aperiodic variability on timescales of from 10(exp 3) to 10(exp 8) s is required, although a factor of approximately 2 change between the Einstein and ROSAT eras is possible. We show that the point source cannot represent thermal emission from the surface of a young neutron star and is unlikely to be explained as nonthermal, Crab-like X-ray pulses or a small synchrotron nebula. The most likely models involve accretion-powered systems -- either a wind-fed neutron star with a massive companion or a low-mass X-ray binary. In all probability, this is the youngest X-ray binary in the Galaxy.