Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey

The main galaxy sample

Michael A. Strauss, David H. Weinberg, Robert H. Lupton, Vijay K. Narayanan, James Annis, Mariangela Bernardi, Michael Blanton, Scott Burles, A. J. Connolly, Julianne Dalcanton, Mamoru Doi, Daniel Eisenstein, Joshua A. Frieman, Masataka Fukugita, James E. Gunn, Željko Ivezić, Stephen Kent, Rita S J Kim, G. R. Knapp, Richard G. Kron & 16 others Jeffrey A. Munn, Heidi Jo Newberg, R. C. Nichol, Sadanori Okamura, Thomas R. Quinn, Michael W. Richmond, David J. Schlegel, Kazuhiro Shimasaku, Mark SubbaRao, Alexander S. Szalay, Dan Vanden Berk, Michael S. Vogeley, Brian Yanny, Naoki Yasuda, Donald G. York, Idit Zehavi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We describe the algorithm that selects the main sample of galaxies for spectroscopy in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) from the photometric data obtained by the imaging survey. Galaxy photometric properties are measured using the Petrosian magnitude system, which measures flux in apertures determined by the shape of the surface brightness profile. The metric aperture used is essentially independent of cosmological surface brightness dimming, foreground extinction, sky brightness, and the galaxy central surface brightness. The main galaxy sample consists of galaxies with r-band Petrosian magnitudes r ≤ 17.77 and r-band Petrosian half-light surface brightnesses μ50 ≤ 24.5 mag arcsec-2. These cuts select about 90 galaxy targets per square degree, with a median redshift of 0.104. We carry out a number of tests to show that (1) our star-galaxy separation criterion is effective at eliminating nearly all stellar contamination while removing almost no genuine galaxies, (2) the fraction of galaxies eliminated by our surface brightness cut is very small (∼0.1%), (3) the completeness of the sample is high, exceeding 99%, and (4) the reproducibility of target selection based on repeated imaging scans is consistent with the expected random photometric errors. The main cause of incompleteness is blending with saturated stars, which becomes more significant for brighter, larger galaxies. The SDSS spectra are of high enough signal-to-noise ratio (S/N > 4 per pixel) that essentially all targeted galaxies (99.9%) yield a reliable redshift (i.e., with statistical error less than 30 km s-1). About 6% of galaxies that satisfy the selection criteria are not observed because they have a companion closer than the 55″ minimum separation of spectroscopic fibers, but these galaxies can be accounted for in statistical analyses of clustering or galaxy properties. The uniformity and completeness of the galaxy sample make it ideal for studies of large-scale structure and the characteristics of the galaxy population in the local universe.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1810-1824
    Number of pages15
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Volume124
    Issue number3 1761
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2002

    Fingerprint

    galaxies
    brightness
    signal-to-noise ratio
    pixel
    extinction
    spectroscopy
    completeness
    apertures
    sky brightness
    dimming
    stars
    random errors
    contamination
    signal to noise ratios
    universe
    pixels
    fibers
    causes

    Keywords

    • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
    • Galaxies: photometry
    • Surveys

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Cite this

    Strauss, M. A., Weinberg, D. H., Lupton, R. H., Narayanan, V. K., Annis, J., Bernardi, M., ... Zehavi, I. (2002). Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey: The main galaxy sample. Astronomical Journal, 124(3 1761), 1810-1824. https://doi.org/10.1086/342343

    Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey : The main galaxy sample. / Strauss, Michael A.; Weinberg, David H.; Lupton, Robert H.; Narayanan, Vijay K.; Annis, James; Bernardi, Mariangela; Blanton, Michael; Burles, Scott; Connolly, A. J.; Dalcanton, Julianne; Doi, Mamoru; Eisenstein, Daniel; Frieman, Joshua A.; Fukugita, Masataka; Gunn, James E.; Ivezić, Željko; Kent, Stephen; Kim, Rita S J; Knapp, G. R.; Kron, Richard G.; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Newberg, Heidi Jo; Nichol, R. C.; Okamura, Sadanori; Quinn, Thomas R.; Richmond, Michael W.; Schlegel, David J.; Shimasaku, Kazuhiro; SubbaRao, Mark; Szalay, Alexander S.; Berk, Dan Vanden; Vogeley, Michael S.; Yanny, Brian; Yasuda, Naoki; York, Donald G.; Zehavi, Idit.

    In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 124, No. 3 1761, 09.2002, p. 1810-1824.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Strauss, MA, Weinberg, DH, Lupton, RH, Narayanan, VK, Annis, J, Bernardi, M, Blanton, M, Burles, S, Connolly, AJ, Dalcanton, J, Doi, M, Eisenstein, D, Frieman, JA, Fukugita, M, Gunn, JE, Ivezić, Ž, Kent, S, Kim, RSJ, Knapp, GR, Kron, RG, Munn, JA, Newberg, HJ, Nichol, RC, Okamura, S, Quinn, TR, Richmond, MW, Schlegel, DJ, Shimasaku, K, SubbaRao, M, Szalay, AS, Berk, DV, Vogeley, MS, Yanny, B, Yasuda, N, York, DG & Zehavi, I 2002, 'Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey: The main galaxy sample', Astronomical Journal, vol. 124, no. 3 1761, pp. 1810-1824. https://doi.org/10.1086/342343
    Strauss MA, Weinberg DH, Lupton RH, Narayanan VK, Annis J, Bernardi M et al. Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey: The main galaxy sample. Astronomical Journal. 2002 Sep;124(3 1761):1810-1824. https://doi.org/10.1086/342343
    Strauss, Michael A. ; Weinberg, David H. ; Lupton, Robert H. ; Narayanan, Vijay K. ; Annis, James ; Bernardi, Mariangela ; Blanton, Michael ; Burles, Scott ; Connolly, A. J. ; Dalcanton, Julianne ; Doi, Mamoru ; Eisenstein, Daniel ; Frieman, Joshua A. ; Fukugita, Masataka ; Gunn, James E. ; Ivezić, Željko ; Kent, Stephen ; Kim, Rita S J ; Knapp, G. R. ; Kron, Richard G. ; Munn, Jeffrey A. ; Newberg, Heidi Jo ; Nichol, R. C. ; Okamura, Sadanori ; Quinn, Thomas R. ; Richmond, Michael W. ; Schlegel, David J. ; Shimasaku, Kazuhiro ; SubbaRao, Mark ; Szalay, Alexander S. ; Berk, Dan Vanden ; Vogeley, Michael S. ; Yanny, Brian ; Yasuda, Naoki ; York, Donald G. ; Zehavi, Idit. / Spectroscopic target selection in the sloan digital sky survey : The main galaxy sample. In: Astronomical Journal. 2002 ; Vol. 124, No. 3 1761. pp. 1810-1824.
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    abstract = "We describe the algorithm that selects the main sample of galaxies for spectroscopy in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) from the photometric data obtained by the imaging survey. Galaxy photometric properties are measured using the Petrosian magnitude system, which measures flux in apertures determined by the shape of the surface brightness profile. The metric aperture used is essentially independent of cosmological surface brightness dimming, foreground extinction, sky brightness, and the galaxy central surface brightness. The main galaxy sample consists of galaxies with r-band Petrosian magnitudes r ≤ 17.77 and r-band Petrosian half-light surface brightnesses μ50 ≤ 24.5 mag arcsec-2. These cuts select about 90 galaxy targets per square degree, with a median redshift of 0.104. We carry out a number of tests to show that (1) our star-galaxy separation criterion is effective at eliminating nearly all stellar contamination while removing almost no genuine galaxies, (2) the fraction of galaxies eliminated by our surface brightness cut is very small (∼0.1{\%}), (3) the completeness of the sample is high, exceeding 99{\%}, and (4) the reproducibility of target selection based on repeated imaging scans is consistent with the expected random photometric errors. The main cause of incompleteness is blending with saturated stars, which becomes more significant for brighter, larger galaxies. The SDSS spectra are of high enough signal-to-noise ratio (S/N > 4 per pixel) that essentially all targeted galaxies (99.9{\%}) yield a reliable redshift (i.e., with statistical error less than 30 km s-1). About 6{\%} of galaxies that satisfy the selection criteria are not observed because they have a companion closer than the 55″ minimum separation of spectroscopic fibers, but these galaxies can be accounted for in statistical analyses of clustering or galaxy properties. The uniformity and completeness of the galaxy sample make it ideal for studies of large-scale structure and the characteristics of the galaxy population in the local universe.",
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    T2 - The main galaxy sample

    AU - Strauss, Michael A.

    AU - Weinberg, David H.

    AU - Lupton, Robert H.

    AU - Narayanan, Vijay K.

    AU - Annis, James

    AU - Bernardi, Mariangela

    AU - Blanton, Michael

    AU - Burles, Scott

    AU - Connolly, A. J.

    AU - Dalcanton, Julianne

    AU - Doi, Mamoru

    AU - Eisenstein, Daniel

    AU - Frieman, Joshua A.

    AU - Fukugita, Masataka

    AU - Gunn, James E.

    AU - Ivezić, Željko

    AU - Kent, Stephen

    AU - Kim, Rita S J

    AU - Knapp, G. R.

    AU - Kron, Richard G.

    AU - Munn, Jeffrey A.

    AU - Newberg, Heidi Jo

    AU - Nichol, R. C.

    AU - Okamura, Sadanori

    AU - Quinn, Thomas R.

    AU - Richmond, Michael W.

    AU - Schlegel, David J.

    AU - Shimasaku, Kazuhiro

    AU - SubbaRao, Mark

    AU - Szalay, Alexander S.

    AU - Berk, Dan Vanden

    AU - Vogeley, Michael S.

    AU - Yanny, Brian

    AU - Yasuda, Naoki

    AU - York, Donald G.

    AU - Zehavi, Idit

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    AB - We describe the algorithm that selects the main sample of galaxies for spectroscopy in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) from the photometric data obtained by the imaging survey. Galaxy photometric properties are measured using the Petrosian magnitude system, which measures flux in apertures determined by the shape of the surface brightness profile. The metric aperture used is essentially independent of cosmological surface brightness dimming, foreground extinction, sky brightness, and the galaxy central surface brightness. The main galaxy sample consists of galaxies with r-band Petrosian magnitudes r ≤ 17.77 and r-band Petrosian half-light surface brightnesses μ50 ≤ 24.5 mag arcsec-2. These cuts select about 90 galaxy targets per square degree, with a median redshift of 0.104. We carry out a number of tests to show that (1) our star-galaxy separation criterion is effective at eliminating nearly all stellar contamination while removing almost no genuine galaxies, (2) the fraction of galaxies eliminated by our surface brightness cut is very small (∼0.1%), (3) the completeness of the sample is high, exceeding 99%, and (4) the reproducibility of target selection based on repeated imaging scans is consistent with the expected random photometric errors. The main cause of incompleteness is blending with saturated stars, which becomes more significant for brighter, larger galaxies. The SDSS spectra are of high enough signal-to-noise ratio (S/N > 4 per pixel) that essentially all targeted galaxies (99.9%) yield a reliable redshift (i.e., with statistical error less than 30 km s-1). About 6% of galaxies that satisfy the selection criteria are not observed because they have a companion closer than the 55″ minimum separation of spectroscopic fibers, but these galaxies can be accounted for in statistical analyses of clustering or galaxy properties. The uniformity and completeness of the galaxy sample make it ideal for studies of large-scale structure and the characteristics of the galaxy population in the local universe.

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    KW - Galaxies: photometry

    KW - Surveys

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