J-PLUS started in November 2015

2015-Dec-02 16:15
Detail of Abell 2622 galaxy cluster observed in a J-PLUS field

Detail of Abell 2622 galaxy cluster observed in a J-PLUS field

After an intense period of fine tuning and optimization tasks developed by the OAJ/CEFCA Team, systematic observations with T80Cam@JAST/T80 have started. The telescope–camera system is in optimal performance, reaching normally seeing-limited images. So far, a best gaussian FWHM of 0.63”(+/-0.09”) over the 2deg2 focal plane of T80Cam has been recorded.

In the last days, about 28 deg2 of J-PLUS have already been observed in the 12 J-PLUS filters (time-domain observations in g’ and r’ filters still to be completed over the month). At the beginning of the survey, and in order to guarantee the photometric calibration of the initial dataset, a significant fraction of the observing time is being devoted to internal calibrations and tests to assess on the robustness and reliability of the system.

Color image of one of the J-PLUS fields observed in November 2015

Figure 1.- Color image of one of the J-PLUS fields observed in November 2015. The combined image has been built using the g, r, and i SDSS filters. A zoom over the Abell2622 galaxy cluster shows the typical resolution and quality of the J-PLUS images.

J-PLUS survey is the main project to be carried out for the next three years with the T80Cam panoramic camera installed at the JAST/T80 telescope at OAJ. Particularly designed to make the photometric calibration of the J-PAS survey, J-PLUS will observe 8500 deg2 of the sky visible from Javalambre at a rate of 100 gigabytes of data per night.

The J-PLUS data will provide a high precision 3D map of the local Universe in which unprecedented multi-color information in 12 filters and distances of more than 20 million galaxies and so many stars of the Milky Way halo will be measured. The survey will allow a wide variety of studies in many astrophysical fields related with cosmology, large scale structure, galaxy clusters, 2D stellar populations, star formation studies in galaxies the Milky Way halo structure or variability studies in the time domain; also the discovery of galaxies, quasars, supernovae, or minor bodies in the Solar System.

The preparation and scientific exploitation of J-PLUS is leaded by the Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón, CEFCA, and is partially funded by the “Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica” of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under grant AYA2012–30789.