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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 137, 51-74

ESO Imaging Survey

I. Description of the survey, data reduction and reliability of the data

M. Nonino 1,2 - E. Bertin1,3,4 - L. da Costa1 - E. Deul1,3 - T. Erben1,5 - L. Olsen1,6 - I. Prandoni1,7 - M. Scodeggio1 - A. Wicenec1 - R. Wichmann1,8 - C. Benoist1,9 - W. Freudling10 - M.D. Guarnieri1,11 - I. Hook1 - R. Hook10 - R. Mendez1,12 - S. Savaglio1 - D. Silva1 - R. Slijkhuis1,3

Send offprint request: M. Nonino

1 - European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching b. München, Germany
2 - Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via G.B. Tiepolo 11, I-31144 Trieste, Italy
3 - Leiden Observatory, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
4 - Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd. Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
5 - Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Postfach 1523 D-85748, Garching b. München, Germany
6 - Astronomisk Observatorium, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
7 - Istituto di Radioastronomia del CNR, Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
8 - Landensternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
9 - DAEC, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 5 Pl. J. Janssen, F-92195 Meudon Cedex, France
10 - Space Telescope - European Coordinating Facility, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching b. München, Germany
11 - Osservatorio Astronomico di Pino Torinese, Strada Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Torino, Italy
12 - Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile

Received April 1; accepted December 21, 1998


This paper presents the first data evaluation of the ESO Imaging Survey (EIS), a public survey being carried out by ESO and member states, in preparation for the VLT first-light. The survey goals, organization, strategy and observations are discussed and an overview is given of the survey pipeline developed to handle EIS data and produce object catalogs. A report is presented on moderately deep I-band observations obtained in the first of four patches surveyed, covering a region of 3.2 square degrees centered at $\alpha
\sim 22^{\rm h} 40^{\rm m}$ and $\delta =-40^\circ$. The products available to the community, including pixel maps (with astrometric and photometric calibrations) and the corresponding object catalogs, are also described. In order to evaluate the quality of the data, preliminary estimates are presented for the star and galaxy number counts, and for the angular two-point correlation function obtained from the available data. The present work is meant as a preview of the final release of the EIS data that will become available later this year.

Key words: surveys -- stars: statistics -- galaxies: statistics

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