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5 TB of new external tables! | 7 Jul 2023

In anticipation of the upcoming SMSS DR4, we are making available ~5 TB of new external tables in the TAP service of SkyMapper's All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) node.

Several of these are entirely new catalogues for the SkyMapper node:

  • CatWISE2020 Catalog (all-sky, W1/W2) - ext.catwise2020

  • NOIRLab Source Catalog (NSC) Data Release 2 (35,000 deg2, u/g/r/i/z/Y/VR) - ext.nsc_dr2

  • Southern Photometric Local Universe (S-PLUS) Survey Data Release 3 (2,000 deg2, u*/g/r/i/z + 7 narrow bands) - ext.splus_dr3

Others represent updates to previous data releases:

  • DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys ...

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A stellar embrace ending 10,000 years ago | 7 Jul 2022

Half of all stars are born into couples, called binaries. But unfortunately, we cannot compute their lives. This may be about to change, owing to a new discovery revealing the signature of re-born binaries. 

Single stars, such as the Sun, we understand just fine: they are round and simple, and long timesteps in computer calculations are enough so we can use a computer to fast-forward into the late stages of a star's life. Binary stars, in contrast, are difficult. They may be born wide and perform a distant orbital dance around each other during the early lives. But when one ...

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Voracious Black Hole Slipped Through Our Fingers for 50 years, But SkyMapper Caught It | 6 Jul 2022

The most rapidly growing supermassive black hole in the last 9 billion years of cosmic history was serendipitously found in the SkyMapper Southern Survey, while looking for something completely different!

Dr. Adrian Lucy (Space Telescope Science Institute) was using the SMSS and other imaging surveys to search the Southern sky for symbiotic binary stars, pairs of stars that are so close that the outer layers of one star are flowing onto the other. After obtaining spectroscopy of the candidates at a telescope in South Africa, Dr. Lucy (then a PhD student at Columbia University) discovered that one object was unlike the ...

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Migration of services to HTTPS | 7 Aug 2021

The TAP, cone-search, and image cutout services of the SkyMapper node of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory have migrated from HTTP to HTTPS. Please be advised that you may need to update the URLs used in any scripts, bookmarks, or when connecting to the TAP endpoint with tools like TopCat. (We hope to have the TAP Registries updated soon.)

We apologise for any inconvenience. 

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Great Balls of Fire! | 30 Apr 2021

Asteroid - meteor - meteorite. Some space rocks get to be all three, but very rarely do we get to study each of those stages for a single object. The transition of the asteroid, 2018 LA, into the meteorite, "Motopi Pan", is just the second time that an asteroid has been detected in space prior to impact and then its pieces have been collected from the ground. The first was in 2008, when meteorites from the asteroid 2008 TC3 were collected from the sands of Sudan. In 2018, SkyMapper got to play a small, but important, role in the story of 2018 LA ...

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