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Published August 7, 2019 | Submitted
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The Digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (DPOSS) II: Photometric Calibration


We present the photometric calibration technique for the Digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (DPOSS), used to create seamless catalogs of calibrated objects over large sky areas. After applying a correction for telescope vignetting, the extensive plate overlap regions are used to transform sets of plates onto a common instrumental photometric system. Photometric transformations to the Gunn gri system for each plate, for stars and galaxies, are derived using these contiguous stitched areas and an extensive CCD imaging library obtained for this purpose. We discuss the resulting photometric accuracy, survey depth, and possible systematic errors.

Additional Information

We thank the Norris Foundation for their generous support of the DPOSS project. RRG was supported in part by an NSF Fellowship, NASA GSRP NGT5-50215, and a Kingsley Fellowship. This work would have been impossible without the POSS-II photographic team and the STScI digitization team. We also thank the Palomar TAC and Directors for generous time allocations for the DPOSS calibration effort. Numerous past and present Caltech undergraduates (V. Desai, V. Hradecky, J. Meltzer, B. Stalder, J. Hagan, R. Stob, J. Kollmeier, B. Granett) assisted in the taking of the data utilized in this paper. This work was made possible in part through the NPACI sponsored Digital Sky project and a generous equipment grant from SUN Microsystems. Access to the POSS-II image data stored on the HPSS, located at the California Institute of Technology, was provided by the Center for Advanced Computing Research. The SDSC has generously allowed placement of our CCD data into their SRB as part of the National Virtual Observatory (NVO) initiative.

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October 18, 2023