The main purpose for compiling the RBGS was to produce a more accurate and complete list of IRAS bright galaxies, one that both incorporates the improved final calibration of the IRAS Level1 Archive and one that makes use of the best available SCANPI tools to more accurately compute total IRAS flux densities in all four IRAS wavebands. Just as important was the desire to provide a more accurate assessment of the various sources of uncertainty (e.g. source confusion, cirrus contamination, etc.) in the final list of tabulated flux densities. This was not always clear in the earlier published versions of the BGS1 + BGS2. The reader can use the flags in the RBGS tables to decide when it may be desirable to use the SCANPI tool available through the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) at IPAC 11 for a direct visual inspection of the scan profiles. Also, rather than leave it to the reader to compute infrared luminosities for each source, we have attempted to compile the most recent and accurate redshifts from the literature. We then list the adopted source distances which have been used to compute total far-infrared (using IRAS bands 3 and 4) and infrared (all 4 IRAS bands) luminosities according to standardized prescriptions that are now widely adopted in the literature (e.g., Sanders & Mirabel 1996).
We begin the discussion of the RBGS data by first providing a detailed comparison of how the "new" IRAS flux densities compare with the "old" previously published values. This is followed by a discussion of the survey sky coverage and distribution of sources on the sky, plus a discussion of the completeness of the survey in all four IRAS bands. Various properties of the RBGS are then discussed, ending with the presentation of the new infrared luminosity function for IRAS bright galaxies selected at 60 µm.
11 See http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/. Back.