New Releases of Images and Catalogues from the VIKING and KiDS Surveys

Published: 17 Feb 2015
VST image of Leo Triplet

Both the VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy Survey (VIKING) and the VST Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) are making their second data releases. The VIKING release covers all the highest quality data (images, weightmaps, single-band source lists) taken since the start of the survey in November 2009 up to September 2013. The KiDS release consists of coadded images, weight maps, masks and single-band source lists for 98 tiles that were completed between October 2012 and September 2013. The release also contains the associated multi-band source VIKING + KiDS catalogue of 17 million sources.

VIKING is a wide area (1500 square degrees), intermediate depth, near-infrared imaging public survey at high Galactic latitudes, in five broadband filters Z, Y, J, H and Ks. Science goals include high-redshift quasars, extreme brown dwarfs, as well as multi-wavelength coverage and identifications for a range of other imaging surveys, notably VST-KiDS and Herschel-ATLAS. The products in this second release are derived from an improved processing pipeline for 477 tiles, an area of 690 square degrees. The associated multi-band catalogue includes a total of 46 million sources.

The KiDS public survey will image 1500 square degrees in four filters (u, g, r, i). It is designed to be a weak lensing shear tomography survey, but also to map the large-scale matter distribution in the Universe and constrain the equation of state of Dark Energy. Secondary science cases cover detection of white dwarfs, Milky Way structure, galaxy evolution and high-redshift quasars.The total combined area coverage of the KiDS releases is 148 square degrees.

Since the area covered by the KiDS and VIKING releases overlaps, the ESO Science Archive Facility offers source photometry in nine bands, from the near-ultraviolet to the near-infrared, for 17 million sources. The new catalogue data are accessible from the catalogue facility query interface, and each release is accompanied by comprehensive descriptions (KiDS and VIKING).