|Alternative names||Two Micron All-Sky Survey|
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The Two Micron All-Sky Survey, or 2MASS, was an astronomical survey of the whole sky in infrared light.It took place between 1997 and 2001, in two different locations: at the U.S. Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, each using a 1.3-meter telescope for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, respectively. It was conducted in the short-wavelength infrared at three distinct frequency bands (J, H, and K) near 2 micrometres, from which the photometric survey with its HgCdTe detectors derives its name.
2MASS produced an astronomical catalog with over 300 million observed objects, including minor planets of the Solar System, brown dwarfs, low-mass stars, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. In addition, 1 million objects were cataloged in the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog (2MASX). The cataloged objects are designated with a "2MASS" and "2MASX"-prefix respectively.
The final data release for 2MASS occurred in 2003,and is served by the Infrared Science Archive. The goals of this survey included:
Numerical descriptions of point sources (stars, planets, asteroids) and extended sources (galaxies, nebulae) were cataloged by automated computer programs to an average limiting magnitude of about 14. More than 300 million point sources and 1 million extended sources were cataloged. In November 2003, a team of scientists announced the discovery of the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, at that time the closest known satellite galaxy to the Milky Way, based on analysis of 2MASS stellar data.
The resulting data and images from the survey are currently in the public domain, and may be accessed online for free by anyone.There is also a list of 2MASS science publications with links to free pre-publication copies of the papers.
2MASS is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC, run by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech), NASA, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally 'milky', a reference to the Milky Way galaxy that contains the Solar System. Galaxies, averaging an estimated 100 million stars, range in size from dwarfs with less than a hundred million stars, to the largest galaxies known – supergiants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass. Most of the mass in a typical galaxy is in the form of dark matter, with only a few percent of that mass visible in the form of stars and nebulae. Supermassive black holes are a common feature at the centres of galaxies.
Timeline of astronomical maps, catalogs and surveys
The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224 and originally the Andromeda Nebula, is a barred spiral galaxy with the diameter of about 46.56 kiloparsecs approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth and the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. The galaxy's name stems from the area of Earth's sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which itself is named after the princess who was the wife of Perseus in Greek mythology.
The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy 2.73 million light-years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC (New General Catalogue) 598. With the D25 isophotal diameter of 18.74 kiloparsecs (61,100 light-years), the Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, behind the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
The Virgo Cluster is a large cluster of galaxies whose center is 53.8 ± 0.3 Mly away in the constellation Virgo. Comprising approximately 1,300 member galaxies, the cluster forms the heart of the larger Virgo Supercluster, of which the Local Group is a member. The Local Group actually experiences the mass of the Virgo Supercluster as the Virgocentric flow. It is estimated that the Virgo Cluster's mass is 1.2×1015M☉ out to 8 degrees of the cluster's center or a radius of about 2.2 Mpc.
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was the first space telescope to perform a survey of the entire night sky at infrared wavelengths. Launched on 25 January 1983, its mission lasted ten months. The telescope was a joint project of the United States (NASA), the Netherlands (NIVR), and the United Kingdom (SERC). Over 250,000 infrared sources were observed at 12, 25, 60, and 100 micrometer wavelengths.
Omega Centauri is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus that was first identified as a non-stellar object by Edmond Halley in 1677. Located at a distance of 17,090 light-years, it is the largest-known globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years. It is estimated to contain approximately 10 million stars, and a total mass equivalent to 4 million solar masses, making it the most massive-known globular cluster in the Milky Way.
The Canis Major Overdensity or Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy is a disputed dwarf irregular galaxy in the Local Group, located in the same part of the sky as the constellation Canis Major.
The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) is an online astronomical database for astronomers that collates and cross-correlates astronomical information on extragalactic objects. NED was created in the late 1980s by two Pasadena astronomers, George Helou and Barry F. Madore. NED is funded by NASA and is operated by the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) on the campus of the California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.
SIMBAD is an astronomical database of objects beyond the Solar System. It is maintained by the Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), France.
The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) provides science operations, data management, data archives and community support for astronomy and planetary science missions. IPAC has a historical emphasis on infrared-submillimeter astronomy and exoplanet science. IPAC has supported NASA, NSF and privately funded projects and missions. It is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is a NASA infrared astronomy space telescope in the Explorers Program. It was launched in December 2009, and placed in hibernation mode in February 2011, before being re-activated in 2013 and renamed the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE). WISE discovered thousands of minor planets and numerous star clusters. Its observations also supported the discovery of the first Y-type brown dwarf and Earth trojan asteroid.
NGC 4889 is an E4 supergiant elliptical galaxy. It was discovered in 1785 by the British astronomer Frederick William Herschel I, who catalogued it as a bright, nebulous patch. The brightest galaxy within the northern Coma Cluster, it is located at a median distance of 94 million parsecs from Earth. At the core of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole that heats the intracluster medium through the action of friction from infalling gases and dust. The gamma ray bursts from the galaxy extend out to several million light years of the cluster.
The 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) took place in Washington, D.C., Jan. 3 to Jan. 7, 2010. It is one of the largest astronomy meetings ever to take place as 3,500 astronomers and researchers were expected to attend and give more than 2,200 scientific presentations. The meeting was actually billed as the "largest Astronomy meeting in the universe". An array of discoveries were announced, along with new views of the universe that we inhabit; such as quiet planets like Earth - where life could develop are probably plentiful, even though an abundance of cosmic hurdles exist - such as experienced by our own planet in the past.
NGC 6055 is a barred lenticular galaxy located about 450 million light-years away in the constellation Hercules. The galaxy was discovered by astronomer Lewis Swift on June 8, 1886. It also a member of the Hercules Cluster and is a LINER galaxy.
NGC 560 is a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Cetus. It is estimated to be about 250 million light-years from the Milky Way and has a diameter of approximately 150,000 light years. It is part of the Abell 194 galaxy cluster. NGC 560 was discovered on October 1, 1785 by the German-British astronomer William Herschel.
NGC 830 is a barred lenticular galaxy in the constellation Cetus. It is estimated to be about 170 million light-years from the Milky Way and has a diameter of approximately 70,000 light years.
NeVe 1 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy and the central, dominant member of the Ophiuchus Cluster, about 411 million light-years away from Earth behind the Zone of Avoidance region of the sky. It is notable for being the host galaxy of the Ophiuchus Supercluster eruption, the most energetic astronomical event known.