First J-PAS data release

2019-12-02 08:30
 Color image of an area of ​​the sky observed with J-PAS

Color image of an area of ​​the sky observed with J-PAS

The Javalambre Physics of the Accelerating Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) releases the first set of data, corresponding to a sky area of one square degree observed at the well-known Extended Groth Strip. The data release contains a catalogue of more than 60,000 astronomical objects, each of them having more than a thousand parameters, including multi-band photometry in the unique set of 56 narrow-band (14 nm width) optical filters of J-PAS.

This mapping has been presented during the workshop of the Spanish Network of Astronomical Infrastructures (RIA) held in Teruel from December 2 to 4, in which 76 researchers from 29 institutions from 12 countries have participated. The meeting was held under the title “The Universe in 56 colours: science with the first J-PAS data” and the main goal was to publicly present this unique dataset, release worldwide the reduced images and catalogs, demonstrate the capabilities of the J-PAS concept with real data, and motivate the scientific exploitation of J-PAS by the international community.

The data, together with a specific user manual, are already accessible at

J-PAS will provide high quality photometric redshifts (~1000 km/s precision) for more than 500 million astronomical objects contained in a map of 8500 square degrees. The survey will be developed by the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ, Teruel) with the Javalambre Survey Telescope (JST; 2.5m diameter) and the JPCam instrument (5 deg2 field-of-view). The innovative designs of the J-PAS camera and filter system allow, for the first time, to map not only the positions of hundreds of millions of galaxies in the sky, but their individual distances to us as well, providing the first complete 3D map of the Universe. While JPCam was being assembled and verified at the OAJ, JST already started scientific operations with an interim camera, the JPAS-Pathfinder (JPAS-PF), with which the data just released was observed during 2018 down to the nominal J-PAS depths.

The Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón, which manages and operates the OAJ and leads the conduction of J-PAS, has also announced the entry in J-PAS of a consortium of Chinese astronomers, with a contribution of 800,000 US dollars.

The RIA meeting covered both technical and scientific topics, with sessions focused on the observations, the reduction pipelines, the photometric calibration, and the access to the released data. The scientific analysis of the first J-PAS square degree was also presented, together with the synergies between J-PAS and other international projects with relevant Spanish contribution and/or carried out from other astronomical ICTS (Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures). In addition, the first paper that will address the results obtained with this first data release and its scientific outcome will come to light shortly.