The LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey: I. Survey description and preliminary data release
Journal article, 2017

The LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey (LoTSS) is a deep 120-168 MHz imaging survey that will eventually cover the entire northern sky. Each of the 3170 pointings will be observed for 8 h, which, at most declinations, is sufficient to produce ~5? resolution images with a sensitivity of ~100 ?Jy/beam and accomplish the main scientific aims of the survey, which are to explore the formation and evolution of massive black holes, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and large-scale structure. Owing to the compact core and long baselines of LOFAR, the images provide excellent sensitivity to both highly extended and compact emission. For legacy value, the data are archived at high spectral and time resolution to facilitate subarcsecond imaging and spectral line studies. In this paper we provide an overview of the LoTSS. We outline the survey strategy, the observational status, the current calibration techniques, a preliminary data release, and the anticipated scientific impact. The preliminary images that we have released were created using a fully automated but direction-independent calibration strategy and are significantly more sensitive than those produced by any existing large-Area low-frequency survey. In excess of 44 000 sources are detected in the images that have a resolution of 25?, typical noise levels of less than 0.5 mJy/beam, and cover an area of over 350 square degrees in the region of the HETDEX Spring Field (right ascension 10h45m00s to 15h30m00s and declination 45°00?00? to 57°00?00?).

Catalogs

Surveys

Techniques: image processing

Radio continuum: general

Author

T. W. Shimwell

Leiden University

H. Rottgering

Leiden University

P. N. Best

Royal Observatory

W. L. Williams

University of Hertfordshire

T. J. Dijkema

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

F. De Gasperin

Leiden University

M. J. Hardcastle

University of Hertfordshire

G. H. Heald

University of Groningen

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

D. N. Hoang

Leiden University

A. Horneffer

Max Planck Institute

H. Intema

Leiden University

E. Mahony

ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

The University of Sydney

S. Mandal

Leiden University

A. P. Mechev

Leiden University

L. Morabito

Leiden University

J. B R Oonk

Leiden University

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

D. Rafferty

Universität Hamburg

E. Retana-Montenegro

Leiden University

J. Sabater

Royal Observatory

C. Tasse

Paris Diderot University

Rhodes University

R. J. van Weeren

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

M. Brüggen

Universität Hamburg

G. Brunetti

Istituto di Radioastronomia

K. T. Chy

Jagiellonian University in Kraków

John Conway

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

M. Haverkorn

Radboud University

N. Jackson

University of Manchester

M. J. Jarvis

University of Oxford

University of the Western Cape

J. P. McKean

University of Groningen

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

G. K. Miley

Leiden University

R. Morganti

University of Groningen

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

G. J. White

Open University

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

M. W. Wise

Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

I. van Bemmel

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

R. Beck

Max Planck Institute

M. Brienza

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

University of Groningen

A. Bonafede

Universität Hamburg

G. Calistro Rivera

Leiden University

R. Cassano

Istituto di Radioastronomia

A. O. Clarke

University of Manchester

D. Cseh

Radboud University

A. Deller

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

A. Drabent

Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg

W. van Driel

Universite d'Orleans

Paris Diderot University

D. Engels

Universität Hamburg

H. Falcke

Radboud University

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

C. Ferrari

Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur

S. Fröhlich

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

M. A. Garrett

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

J. J. Harwood

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

V. Heesen

University of Southampton

M. Hoeft

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Cathy Horellou

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

F. P. Israel

Leiden University

A. D. Kapińska

University of Western Australia

ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)

University of Portsmouth

M. Kunert-Bajraszewska

Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu

D. J. McKay

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory

N. R. Mohan

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics India

E. Orru

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

R. F. Pizzo

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

I. Prandoni

Istituto di Radioastronomia

D. J. Schwarz

Bielefeld University

A. Shulevski

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

M. Sipior

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

D. J B Smith

University of Hertfordshire

S. S. Sridhar

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

University of Groningen

M. Steinmetz

Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam

A. Stroe

European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Eskil Varenius

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

P.P. van der Werf

Leiden University

A.J. Zensus

Max Planck Institute

J. T L Zwart

University of the Western Cape

University of Cape Town

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 598 Art no A104- A104

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Roots

Basic sciences

Infrastructure

Onsala Space Observatory

DOI

10.1051/0004-6361/201629313

More information

Latest update

9/6/2018 2