A report on National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey

Major astronomical survey, that took almost 2,000 photographic plates of the night sky.

- National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey

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Digitized Sky Survey

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Digitized version of several photographic astronomical surveys of the night sky, produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute between 1983 and 2006.

Digitized version of several photographic astronomical surveys of the night sky, produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute between 1983 and 2006.

For the northern sky, the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey E-band (red, named after the Eastman Kodak IIIa-E emulsion used), provided almost all of the source data (plate code "XE" in the survey).

Composite image of the GOODS-South field, result of a deep survey using two of the four giant 8.2-metre telescopes composing ESO's Very Large Telescope

Astronomical survey

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General map or image of a region of the sky that lacks a specific observational target.

General map or image of a region of the sky that lacks a specific observational target.

Composite image of the GOODS-South field, result of a deep survey using two of the four giant 8.2-metre telescopes composing ESO's Very Large Telescope
Gamma-ray pulsars detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
The positions in space of just some of the galaxies identified by the VIPERS survey (see Visible Multi Object Spectrograph).

National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (NGS–POSS) – survey of the northern sky on photographic plates, 1948–1958

Palomar Mountain Observatory featured on 1948 United States stamp

Palomar Observatory

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Astronomical research observatory in San Diego County, California, United States, in the Palomar Mountain Range.

Astronomical research observatory in San Diego County, California, United States, in the Palomar Mountain Range.

Palomar Mountain Observatory featured on 1948 United States stamp
Hale Telescope Dome
Hale telescope dome
Component of the Hale telescope
The now decommissioned 18-inch Schmidt Camera
Greenway Visitor Center at Palomar Observatory, with a gift shop

The initial Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS or POSS-I), sponsored by the National Geographic Institute, was completed in 1958.

AGFA photographic plates, 1880

Photographic plate

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Photographic plates preceded photographic film as a capture medium in photography, and were still used in some communities up until the late 20th century.

Photographic plates preceded photographic film as a capture medium in photography, and were still used in some communities up until the late 20th century.

AGFA photographic plates, 1880
Mimosa Panchroma-Studio-Antihalo Panchromatic glass plates, 9 x 12cm, Mimosa A.-G. Dresden
Negative plate
Image resulting from a glass plate negative showing Devil's Cascade in 1900.

Many famous astronomical surveys were taken using photographic plates, including the first Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) of the 1950s, the follow-up POSS-II survey of the 1990s, and the UK Schmidt survey of southern declinations.

Rudolph Minkowski

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German-American astronomer.

German-American astronomer.

He headed the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, a photographic atlas of the entire northern sky (and down to declination -22°) up to an apparent magnitude of 22.

Abell Catalog of Planetary Nebulae

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Created in 1966 by George O. Abell and was composed of 86 entries thought to be planetary nebulae that were collected from discoveries, about half by Albert George Wilson and the rest by Abell, Robert George Harrington, and Rudolph Minkowski.

Created in 1966 by George O. Abell and was composed of 86 entries thought to be planetary nebulae that were collected from discoveries, about half by Albert George Wilson and the rest by Abell, Robert George Harrington, and Rudolph Minkowski.

All were discovered before August 1955 as part of the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey on photographic plates created with the 48 in Samuel Oschin telescope at Mount Palomar.