The VLA's FIRST Project

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Session 43 -- Galactic Structure
Display presentation, Wednesday, 9:20-6:30, Pauley Room

[43.08] The VLA's FIRST Project

R. L. White (STScI), R. H. Becker (UCD/LLNL), D. J. Helfand (Cambridge/Columbia)

Over the next seven years the VLA will be used to carry out a deep, high-resolution survey at 1.4~GHz of a 10,000 square degree area centered on the north Galactic pole. The data will be collected in the B-configuration, which should provide positions accurate to 1~arcsec or better (90\% confidence). The survey will achieve a sensitivity limit of 1~mJy ($5\sigma$), so that about one million radio sources will be detected. Both the sensivity and resolution represent improvements by two orders of magnitude over existing large-area radio surveys.

We have christened the project FIRST: Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-centimeters. The initial observations were made in April, 1993, during which time an area bounded in Right Ascension by 07$^{\hbox{h}}$ 15$^{\hbox{m}}$ -- 16$^{\hbox{h}}$ 30$^{\hbox{m}}$ and in Declination by $28.5^\circ$ -- $31.1^\circ$ was surveyed. The $u$-$v$ data from this program will go into the public domain immediately, while images and source catalogs will be made available as the data analysis and quality control for each field is complete.

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