Original Message suggesting the Stupendous Man Scan Plan

Michael Richmond
Feb 25, 1997

Following Tom's plan to present results at the AAS meeting this summer, and Arne's suggestions on where to look, I wish to put forth the following plan for the next 5 weeks. It's just a suggestion.

I suggest that those people who have cameras try to make sure that they get images of 2 or 3 "special fields" over the next 5 weeks. Suppose we pick

       Field A:  RA = 12:30 - 12:45   Dec = +0      
       Field B:  RA = 08:45 - 09:00   Dec = +0
Each field is about 4 degrees long, which means that it can be covered in 15 minutes of scanning, and will make a strip about 1.5 times longer than it is wide (this is nice for display purposes). A single image of each field would be about 1.5 Megabytes in size. This seems reasonable for several purposes; for example, a single image would fit onto a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Moreover, I can and will provide the disk space to store
       - all raw/reduced images of these fields people can send me
       - all starlists from these fields people can send me
The Field "A" is at a high galactic latitude, so the stars are widely separated. It covers the same area as the FASTT "I" field, for which Arne has supplied astrometry, and in which Arne knows the locations of all the variable stars. It contains the field SA 104, which has many Landolt standards. In a sense, we already "know the answers" for this field -- so we will realize we're doing something wrong if we don't agree. Field "A" is also close to the ecliptic, which means that asteroids will be whizzing through it every night.

The field "B" is at a moderately low galactic latitude, so it will be full of stars, and present more of a challenge to our reduction procedures. It contains the Landolt field SA 100, which has many standard stars.

Both fields should remain visible for the next 5 weeks, I think --- yes, field "B" will be on the meridian at twilight at the end of March. So we can spend 5 weeks getting oodles of data for these areas, and then another 8 weeks trying to reduce them before the AAS meeting. It is my experience that _reducing_ a set of data takes much, much longer than acquiring it.

Some people may say, "That's a piddling amount of sky!" Well, I can provide the disk space for it, and I can also provide the time and effort to analyze the results for this much area. If people want to acquire and reduce more data, terrific! I'm just stating that I think concentrating on these two areas will allow us to present a paper(s) at the AAS meeting that contains airtight results.

There's nothing magical about my choices for the areas -- if there are good reasons to pick some other 2 fields, or 3 fields, let's hear them!

So, that's my suggestion. If we concentrate on these two fields (but of course, take as much data as we can), then I think we have a good chance to present impressive results by June, 1997.