The Wide-Field Plate Database: Development and Access via Internet


  • Milcho Tsvetkov



Astronomical Photographic Plates, Plate Library, Astroinformatics, Large Astronomical Databases, Image Processing, Data Centres


The motivations and results from the first 1.5-year period of the project “Wide-field Plate Database (WFPDB): Development and Access via Internet” (DO-02-273/18.12.2008), approved for funding through a competition held by the Bulgarian National Science Fund in the field of Promotion of Research in Priority Areas, are described. The main direction of the development of the project is digitization and preservation of, and web access to, the astronomical plate archives of the 2-m RCC and the 50/70 cm Schmidt telescopes of the Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory received in the period 1979–1998. The basis of the work is set out in Tsvetkov (2006) [1] and Tsvetkova & Tsvetkov (2006) [2], motivating the project over the past 10 years. The WFPDB ( represents a unique virtual instrument in astronomical research, which allows obtaining information on existing astronomical observations of celestial objects over the past 130 years with the professional astronomical telescopes at observatories around the world. Briefly, this is a unique virtual telescope working as a “Time Machine” for obtaining information on historical observations of minor planets, comets, stars and galaxies. The project also aims to continue and expand the successful work initiated during the past 15 years by extending the provision of technical work on the base, and improving and extending the internal LAN (, which ensures rapid online access to data, based on international standards of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and the European Virtual Observatory (EURO-VO). The main results of this paper are described in detail in the annual report project of July 15, 2010: FNI 273 2010July/