US Survey for Faint Blue Objects:
The survey for Ultraviolet-excess Starlike ("US") objects lists 3987 in eight
fields in the North and South galactic polar caps. The selection method uses
relative instrumental B-V and U-B colors and is thus the first quantified
generalization of the methods of Haro and Luyten and of Jaidee and Lynga. It
has provided arguably the best quasar surface densities in 1984 and is still
among the top three surveys for bright quasars in 2000 (Mitchell et al ApJL
287, L3, 1984; Usher & Mitchell AJ 120, 1683, 2000). Selection effects are
fully accounted for. Astrometric positions have been acquired by a unique
method that uses a transparant precision grid with measurements made with the
Cuffey astrophotometer in the field mode (PASP 93, 655, 1981.) (Perhaps Prof.
Cuffey would have been pleased to learn that his astrophotometer could serve
also as a measuring engine!) Positional accuracy of about 2" or better can
be achieved most of the time. When a Penn State student, Archie Warnock developed and
wrote the reduction routine. The morphological condition manifests itself as a
"1.2m Schmidt Telescope Criterion" (Usher, Mitchell, & Huang, ApJ 454, 654,
1995) in the Johnson B band. With the help of former Penn State REU
students Fabian and Boos, this criterion
has been refined and extended to brighter magnitudes with the help of the
PG Survey and the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (see
Fabian and Usher , AJ 111, 645, 1996; Boos et al. 1996). Individual
objects of interest include:
US 943 (now DV UMa): When an undergraduate student at Penn State,
Dianne Mattson discovered that this faint blue object had undergone a 5
magnitude outburst (ApJS 48, 51, 1982). Subsequent research by the former
Penn State student, Steve Howell, has revealed that it is a 19th mag eclipsing
cataclysmic variable at the edge of the period gap (Howell et al. MNRAS 233,
79, 1988; Bailey MNRAS 243, 57, 1990).
US 1329 is about the 200th brightest quasar in the sky and has a
redshift of 0.25. It was identified by four Penn State graduate students
using the 62-inch telescope at Black Moshannon Observatory (Mitchell
et al PASP 95, 45, 1983).
US 1867 is an absorption-line quasar selected for the Hubble Space
Telescope quasar absorption line key project (Gannuzi et al ApJS 118, 1,
US 3215: This somewhat unusual compact galaxy was selected by
Professor Ke-Liang Huang while visiting Penn State from Nanjing,
China (ApJS 56, 393, 1984). The object is an active Seyfert 1
galaxy of morphological type gE2 with a de Vaucouleurs profile, centered
on a cluster of galaxies of Abell Richness Class 0 or more. Its visible
extent corresponds to a linear diameter of about 150 thousand light years
(Howell et al PASP 109, 1149, 1997). The 1.2m Palomar Schmidt was also instrumental
in the discovery of a new asteroid on plate PS25740 (103a-O+GG13, Dec 5/6 1978)
taken by Archie Warnock and Peter Usher. The reduction and analysis were done
by Archie Warnock and E. Bowels of Lowell Observatory. Archie is an accomplished
bluegrass and country musician, so he named the asteroid "Whitley" for a country
singer who died at the tender age of 34.
Letter to Nature that first enunciates the principle, and the
principal advantages, of the Almucantar Transit Telescope.
3. Exegesis and Literary Interpretation: Hermeneutics in Astronomy.
"SHAKESPEARE'S SUPPORT FOR THE NEW ASTRONOMY."
The Oxfordian Vol. 5, 2002.
Last updated 31 December 2002