Atlas of Galactic Neutral Hydrogen

The Leiden/Dwingeloo HI survey mapped the 21-cm spectral line emission over the entire sky above declinations of -30 degrees using a grid spacing of ~ 0.5 degree and a velocity sampling of ~ 1.03 km/s. The useful velocity (V_lsr) range is from -450 to +400 km/s. The Atlas presents calibrated spectra in units of brightness temperature. Using interpolation and averaging, the authors have placed their data on an evenly-spaced grid in Galactic coordinates (l,b). A detailed discussion of the instrument and calibration procedures is provided in the published Atlas. The average sensitivity level of the survey is 0.07 K (1-sigma, rms). This sensitivity level depends critically on the success of the stray-radiation correction as discussed in Hartmann et al. (1996A&AS..119..115H). In that discussion, several caveats are offered regarding the removal of stray radiation, in particular that component which might be due to reflection from the ground. Some instances have been found where there are residuals which are clearly larger than the mean accuracy quoted as representative of the Leiden/Dwingeloo survey. Users of the data are reminded that the stray-radiation correction was applied conservatively, ensuring that no overestimate was calculated and removed, thereby yielding spurious negative intensities. A specific example of remaining spurious emission is evident towards the North Galactic Pole, a direction notoriously difficult to observe. All spectra taken towards b=+90 degrees should, of course, be identical, no matter the longitude or the orientation of the telescope with respect to the ground or to the meridian. Because the sky was sampled in 5x5 degree boxes, a spectrum was recorded at b=+90 degrees for every Nx5 degrees (N=0..72) in longitude. The spectra in the final dataset were interpolated between these measured spectra to yield a 0.5x0.5 degree grid. So, only every 10th spectrum at this extreme latitude corresponds to an observed spectrum. Comparing all spectra at b=+90 reveals differences which are larger than expected. The origin of this discrepancy is currently unknown. There is also an instrumental effect which reveals itself as correlated noise, showing a pattern which alternates sign at adjacent channels when the very lowest levels of intensity are examined. This effect is due to an offset in the DAS autocorrelator used as the backend in the Leiden/Dwingeloo survey. The presence of this artifact becomes noticeable only after averaging 50 or more spectra. Although a Hanning convolution of the data would eliminate this effect, it would also degrade the velocity resolution; as the correlated noise is noticeable only at very low levels (about 15 mK), well below the mean rms sensitivity of the survey itself, the original spectra have not been Hanning smoothed. Excepted are those spectra which suffered from sinc interference. These spectra were Hanning smoothed to enable the elimination of the interference spike. Dr. Lloyd Higgs has compared the HI spectra made with the DRAO 26-m telescope in support of the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey with those of the Leiden Dwingeloo Survey, and has pointed out what are evidently calibration problems in a small number of isolated LDS spectra. Either Hartmann, Burton, or Higgs could provide additional information. The Leiden/Dwingeloo HI survey is intended primarily for studies of the interstellar gas associated with our own Galaxy. There are, however, a small number of spectra in which 'contaminating' signatures from known external galaxies are present. Detections of roughly 50 such external galaxies were made; refer to table 4 of the Atlas for a list. The HI spectra from the Leiden/Dwingeloo survey are archived as 721 files. Each file is in FITS image format, and maps the 21-cm brightness temperature at a fixed Galactic longitude for an evenly-spaced rectangular grid of (Galactic latitude, velocity) points. There is one FITS file for every 0.5 degree in Galactic longitude in the "fits" subdirectory. In addition to the 721 (b,v) FITS files, there is an (l,b) FITS image named TOTAL_HI.FIT, which contains the integrated intensity map over the velocity range -450 km/s <= V_lsr <= +400 km/s. The map units are in [] and the FITS header contains comments regarding the conversion to column densities. Included as a visual aid is the GIF image file total_hi.gif, which depicts the velocity-integrated map. The data were originally distributed on a CD-ROM enclosed with the Atlas of Galactic Neutral Hydrogen (reference given above). The CD also contains animations of velocity slices through the data cube.

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Metadata Access
Creator Hartmann D.; Burton W.B.
Publisher CDS
Publication Year 1999
OpenAccess true
Contact CDS support team <cds-question(at)>
Resource Type Dataset; AstroObjects
Discipline Astrophysics and Astronomy; Cosmology; Interstellar medium; Natural Sciences; Observational Astronomy; Physics