The ATLAS All-Sky Stellar Reference Catalog

J. L. Tonry, L. Denneau, H. Flewelling, A. N. Heinze, C. A. Onken, S. J. Smartt, B. Stalder, H. J. Weiland, C. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) observes most of the sky every night in search of dangerous asteroids. Its data are also used to search for photometric variability, where sensitivity to variability is limited by photometric accuracy. Since each exposure spans 7.°6 corner to corner, variations in atmospheric transparency in excess of 0.01 mag are common, and 0.01 mag photometry cannot be achieved by using a constant flat-field calibration image. We therefore have assembled an all-sky reference catalog of approximately one billion stars to m ∼ 19 from a variety of sources to calibrate each exposure's astrometry and photometry. Gaia DR2 is the source of astrometry for this ATLAS Refcat2. The sources of g, r, i, and z photometry include Pan-STARRS DR1, the ATLAS Pathfinder photometry project, ATLAS reflattened APASS data, SkyMapper DR1, APASS DR9, the Tycho-2 catalog, and the Yale Bright Star Catalog. We have attempted to make this catalog at least 99% complete to m < 19, including the brightest stars in the sky. We believe that the systematic errors are no larger than 5 mmag rms, although errors are as large as 20 mmag in small patches near the Galactic plane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2018


  • atmospheric effects
  • instrumentation: photometers
  • surveys
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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