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The Palomar-Leiden Survey (also known as PLS for short ) is a large-scale survey of the sky that was carried out from 1960 to 1977 for the targeted search for minor planets . "Palomar-Leiden" is an extension of the McDonald Asteroid Survey (MDS) by Gerard Peter Kuiper 1952, and is comparable to the Palomar Sky Survey , but with 20.5 may not quite approach its limit size .

The main initiators of the project were Kuiper, Paul Herget , Tom Gehrels as well as Cornelis Johannes van Houten and his wife Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld . Like the three Trojan Surveys , it served as the basis for investigations into the statistical and dynamic properties of the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter .

Palomar-Leiden survey 100 were 1960 total field plates ( plate size 35.6 x 35.6 cm, 1 mm thick) with the large Schmidt telescope on Mount Palomar - Observatory added. In addition to the 100 field plates, there were also 30 individual plates from calibration fields for the photometry of the field plates. The exposure time was about 10 minutes (for blue-sensitive photo plates) and 40 minutes (yellow plates), the sky section shown is 6.5 x 6.5 degrees . The covered sky area of ​​the PLS was 12 × 18 degrees and was divided into a total of 8 individual fields of 6.5 °.

Because of the size of the surveys, the project was divided into three institutes: the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, the Cincinnati Observatory (then the seat of the Minor Planet Center ), and the Leiden Observatory in Holland . The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (Gehrels) was responsible for the creation of the recordings, Leiden (I. van Houten-Groeneveld and CJ van Houten) for the measurement of the plates and the Cincinnati Observatory (Herget) for the calculation of the orbit parameters of the newly found ones Minor planets .

Over 2,000 new minor planets were discovered on the Palomar-Leiden plates, of which 14,000 positions and 7,500 were measured by reference stars. To this day, "Palomar-Leiden" is used to determine the orbit of minor planets.

Since the spring of 2005, the Astronomisches Recheninstitut (ARI) in Heidelberg has been cooperating under the project management of Lutz D. Schmadel with the Erdmessungs -Institut of the TU Hannover to archive and digitize the Palomar-Leiden Survey and the Trojan Surveys, which were carried out for similar purposes at the time .

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