NOTE: This is not the main web page for this project; for full details of this project, see the main FIRST web page (for the latest images, image cut-outs, etc).

The VLA FIRST Survey

Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-centimeters

Robert H. Becker, David J. Helfand, Richard L. White, Michael D. Gregg, Richard A. Perley

FIRST -- Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm -- is a project designed to produce the radio equivalent of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey over 10,000 square degrees of the North Galactic Cap. The survey uses the Very Large Array in "B" array.

Getting FIRST data products

The principal FIRST data products are being released into a directory accessible by anonymous FTP at NRAO, and also are available from the HST Data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (see Images from the FIRST Survey for further details).

You can go directly to the ftp site at NRAO, or alternatively obtain via anonymous FTP, a sample ftp session is shown below (NOTE: new ftp server address):

     login: anonymous
     password:               (use your e-mail address for this)
     cd /first               (to access the NVSS public directory)
     dir                     (to list the directory contents)
     get README              (to get a brief text file which describes the
                              location of the images)
     binary                  (to copy binary files)
     get FIT10120+2852A.gz   (to get the image FIT10120+2852A)

In the above example, the user retrieved the GNU-zipped version of a given file; running gunzip on the resulting file will decompress it.

The FITS files are provided in compressed (GNU zipped) format. However, you can request that the ftp server de-compress any .gz (gzipped) file "on the fly" as you download it by simply "get"ting the file leaving off the .gz extension. Example: to get F06360+31143.gz in unzipped format, ask for F06360+31143 instead. GNU zip is free software and widely available on the net; we strongly recommend that you use it if possible.

HTML conversion by Pat Murphy