Title: Public Imaging Survey

Scientific program:

The present proposal for Public Wide Field Surveys is based on ideas submitted by the community to ESO. The ideas have been evaluated by the Working Group for Public Surveys. The main purpose of the Public Surveys is to provide the community with a unique database for the preparation of VLT observations. Part of this new Public Survey aims at the completion of the original Deep Public Survey.

The Public Survey proposed here consists of two parts:
1) a Deep Survey in the optical with the WFI and
2) a survey in near-IR with SOFI which has a deep and a wide part.

The main scientific driver for the proposed observations % (deep UBVRI and Near-IR surveys) is the search for high-redshift extragalactic objects (galaxies, clusters and QSOs) and for very-low-mass stellar objects (brown dwarfs). The observations will also provide a unique and urgently needed database for studies of galactic structure and stellar populations in general. Data from these Public Surveys will be made available to the ESO community as soon as processed through the survey pipelines. Data from Public Surveys already published have been extensively used by the community.