WCSTools Publications A Comparison of Large All-Sky Catalogs, by Douglas J. Mink, Warren Brown, and Michael J. Kurtz, presented at the annual meeting of the Division on Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society, Ithaca, NY, May 3-7, 2003.

WCSTools: An Image Astrometry Toolkit

by Douglas J. Mink, Warren Brown, and Michael J. Kurtz
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Recent large catalogs, such as the US Naval Observatory's 526,280,881 source A2.0 and 1,036,366,767 source B1.0 Catalogs, the 998,402,801 source Guide Star Catalog II, and the 155,569,249 source (so far) 2 Micron All Sky Survey Point Source Catalog, have revolutionized our ability to do astrometry with CCD images. The recently published FITS World Coordinate System standard has provided a standard way of parameterizing that astrometry, and the WCSTools and SExtractor software packages allow the automation of the "plate-fitting" process. New instruments for ground-based observing, such as multi-fiber spectrographs, need very accurate positions for objects even fainter than those in these large catalogs. As part of a survey to be conducted with one of these new spectrographs, we have amassed 1728 15 by 30 arcminute CCD images of a portion of the northern sky. After matching 200 to 400 point sources per image to the various catalogs and fitting world coordinate systems to them, we present statistics as to how well each catalog matches our portion of the sky.

Web version of Open Office presentation