II/350              VLT Survey Telescope ATLAS                   (Shanks+, 2015)
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Beginning of ReadMe : II/350 VLT Survey Telescope ATLAS (Shanks+, 2015) ================================================================================ The VLT Survey Telescope ATLAS. Shanks T., Metcalfe N., Chehade B., Findlay J.R., Irwin M.J., Gonzalez-Solares E., Lewis J.R., Yoldas A.K., Mann R.G., Read M.A., Sutorius E.T.W., Voutsinas S. <Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 451, 4238 (2015) > =2015MNRAS.451.4238S =2017yCat.2350....0S ================================================================================ ADC_Keywords: Surveys ; Photometry, SDSS Mission_Name: ESO Keywords: catalogues - surveys - cosmology: observations - large-scale structure of Universe Abstract: The VLT Survey Telescope ATLAS survey is an optical ugriz survey aiming to cover  4700deg^2^ of the southern sky to similar depths as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). From reduced images and object catalogues provided by the Cambridge Astronomical Surveys Unit, we first find that the median seeing ranges from 0.8-arcsec FWHM (full width at half-maximum) in i to 1.0-arcsec in u, significantly better than the 1.2-1.5arcsec seeing for SDSS. The 5sigma mag limit for stellar sources is r_AB_=22.7 and in all bands these limits are at least as faint as SDSS. SDSS and ATLAS are more equivalent for galaxy photometry except in the z band where ATLAS has significantly higher throughput. We have improved the original ESO magnitude zero-points by comparing m<16 star magnitudes with the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey in gri, also extrapolating into u and z, resulting in zero-points accurate to  +/-0.02mag. We finally compare star and galaxy number counts in a 250deg^2^ area with SDSS and other count data and find good agreement. ATLAS data products can be retrieved from the ESO Science Archive, while support for survey science analyses is provided by the OmegaCAM Science Archive, operated by the Wide-Field Astronomy Unit in Edinburgh. Description: The ATLAS sky coverage consists of two contiguous blocks in the North and South galactic caps. The ATLAS South Galactic Cap (SGC) area lies between 21h30m<RA<04h00m and -40deg<Dec<-10deg, whilst the North Galactic Cap (NGC) area lies between 10h00m<RA<15h30m and -20deg<Dec<-2.5deg plus 10h00m<RA<15h00m and -30deg<Dec<-20deg. There is complete coverage of the VST KiDS survey (de Jong et al. 2013, Cat. II/344) in the SGC, but only partial coverage in the NGC. The NGC area below Dec<-20deg is approved as an ESO public survey in iz and is approved as a Chilean ESO proposal (e.g. 095.A-0561) in ugr. The total area of the survey is 4711 deg^2^ with 2087 deg^2^ in the NGC and 2624 deg^2^ in the SGC. There is also an ongoing 'Chilean u extension project' to double the exposure time in u from 2 to 4 min over the full ATLAS area (PI: L. Infante). Status maps of the ATLAS survey can be found at http://astro.dur.ac.uk/Cosmology/vstatlas/.