SkyMapper Back On-Sky! | 7 May 2020
After six weeks of self-isolation, SkyMapper is back to taking images tonight!
Thanks to the efforts of the staff at Siding Spring Observatory, SkyMapper and other facilities are starting to resume science operations. We feel fortunate that our fully robotic telescope can continue collecting data for the SkyMapper Southern Survey, and hope that other observatories around the world can soon resume their own operations while safeguarding the wellbeing of their most valuable resource: the people who keep the facilities working at the cutting edge of science.Read more →
DR3 live across Australia now | 5 Feb 2020
The SkyMapper Team is pleased to announce that Data Release 3 (DR3) of the Southern Survey is now available to all interested parties based in Australia. The release includes ~200,000 images and 8 billion object detections.
DR3 comes with the same data products as DR2, but a large increase in frames and deep sky coverage, including images from 5.5 years of observations. Nearly all Southern sky at |b|>10 deg has all six filters observed by the deeper Main-Survey exposures (see documentation).
There are more cross-matched external catalogues, both photometric catalogues such as VHS and Viking, and spectroscopic ...Read more →
Featured Publication: Giant Flares from Little Stars | 29 Oct 2019
The SkyMapper team has determined how often M dwarf stars, the most common and longest-lived stars in our galaxy, have energetic outbursts. These tiny, red stars often undergo giant flares that may impact the habitability of exoplanets around host stars such as TRAPPIST-1 or Proxima Centauri. The flares also show up in searches for other explosive events in the universe -- like supernova explosions, gamma-ray bursts, and kilonovae (the stellar collisions detected by gravitational-wave observatories).
The new discovery from this work is that the flaring fraction is nearly constant in the "Solar neighbourhood", regardless of the M dwarf temperature, with flares occurring in about 1 out ...Read more →
Featured Publication: A Record-Setting Ancient Star | 14 Oct 2019
An Australian-led team has used SkyMapper to find the star with the least amount of iron ever detected. "This incredibly anaemic star has iron levels 1.5 million times lower than that of the Sun," said lead author Dr. Thomas Nordlander from the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Australian National University.
The miniscule amount of iron indicates that the star was born just one generation after the very first stars in the Galaxy. The first stars are expected to have been massive and short-lived, so it is unlikely that any have survived to the present day ...Read more →
Expanded Use of DR2 | 24 Jul 2019
The list of protected survey science programs, against which DR2 users are not allowed to compete, has been dramatically reduced in order to allow Australian users of SkyMapper data to expand their scientific reach. You may check the remaining programs here.
The SkyMapper team thanks the previous program PIs for their permission to open up the data to the wider Australian community.Read more →