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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 34-40 (1998)

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Bright galaxies from WENSS

I. The minisurvey *

H.R. , de Ruiter 1, 2, P. Parma 2, G.M. , Stirpe 1, I. Perez-Fournon 3, I. Gonzalez-Serrano 4, R.B. Rengelink 5 and M.N. Bremer 6

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Zamboni, 33, I-40126 Bologna, Italy
2 Istituto di Radioastronomia del CNR, Via Gobetti, 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
4 Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria, Avda. de los Castros, E-39005 Santander, Spain
5 Leiden Observatory, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA, Leiden , The Netherlands
6 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris, France

Received 28 April 1998 / Accepted 17 July 1998


A search for bright galaxies associated with radio sources from the WENSS minisurvey has been carried out. A galaxy counterpart was found for 402 of almost 10,000 radio sources. Of these a radio and optically complete sample, with a flux density limit at 325 MHz of 30 mJy and a limiting red magnitude of 16, can be constructed, which contains 119 galaxies.

This paper is the first step of a more general study, in which we aim to derive a bright galaxy sample from the entire WENSS survey (which is now available in the public domain) and thus to construct practically definitive local radio luminosity functions of elliptical and spiral galaxies.

We briefly describe the WENSS minisurvey, and the steps that are needed for the optical identification of its radio sources. Due to the large numbers of sources involved (over 200,000) completely automated procedures are obviously needed and we discuss these in some detail. It is shown that with modern utilities projects as described here have become quite feasible.

Some results (e.g. a preliminary determination of the local radio luminosity function) are presented.

Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts – - radio continuum: galaxies

* Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/339/34

Send offprint requests to: H.R. de Ruiter

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 30, 1998