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The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: survey design and first data release

Drinkwater, Michael J. and Jurek, Russell J. and Blake, Chris and Woods, David and Pimbblet, Kevin A. and Glazebrook, Karl and Sharp, Rob and Pracy, Michael B. and Brough, Sarah and Colless, Matthew and Couch, Warrick J. and Croom, Scott M. and Davis, Tamara M. and Forbes, Duncan and Forster, Karl and Gilbank, David G. and Gladders, Michael and Jelliffe, Ben and Jones, Nick and Li, I-hui and Madore, Barry and Martin, D. Christopher and Poole, Gregory B. and Small, Todd and Wisnioski, Emily and Wyder, Ted and Yee, H. K. C. (2010) The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: survey design and first data release. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 401 (3). pp. 1429-1452. ISSN 0035-8711.

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The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey is a survey of 240 000 emission-line galaxies in the distant Universe, measured with the AAOmega spectrograph on the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). The primary aim of the survey is to precisely measure the scale of baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) imprinted on the spatial distribution of these galaxies at look-back times of 4–8 Gyr. The target galaxies are selected using ultraviolet (UV) photometry from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite, with a flux limit of NUV < 22.8 mag . We also require that the targets are detected at optical wavelengths, specifically in the range 20.0 < r < 22.5 mag . We use the Lyman break method applied to the UV colours, with additional optical colour limits, to select high-redshift galaxies. The galaxies generally have strong emission lines, permitting reliable redshift measurements in relatively short exposure times on the AAT. The median redshift of the galaxies is z_(med)= 0.6 . The redshift range containing 90 per cent of the galaxies is 0.2 < z < 1.0 . The survey will sample a volume of ~1 Gpc^3 over a projected area on the sky of 1000 deg^2, with an average target density of 350 deg^(−2). Detailed forecasts indicate that the survey will measure the BAO scale to better than 2 per cent and the tangential and radial acoustic wave scales to approximately 3 and 5 per cent, respectively. Combining the WiggleZ constraints with existing cosmic microwave background measurements and the latest supernova data, the marginalized uncertainties in the cosmological model are expected to be σ(Ω_m) = 0.02 and σ(w) = 0.07 (for a constant w model). The WiggleZ measurement of w will constitute a robust, precise and independent test of dark energy models. This paper provides a detailed description of the survey and its design, as well as the spectroscopic observations, data reduction and redshift measurement techniques employed. It also presents an analysis of the properties of the target galaxies, including emission-line diagnostics which show that they are mostly extreme starburst galaxies, and Hubble Space Telescope images, which show that they contain a high fraction of interacting or distorted systems. In conjunction with this paper, we make a public data release of data for the first 100 000 galaxies measured for the project.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Brough, Sarah0000-0002-9796-1363
Colless, Matthew0000-0001-9552-8075
Croom, Scott M.0000-0003-2880-9197
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Madore, Barry0000-0002-1576-1676
Martin, D. Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
Additional Information:© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 RAS. Accepted 2009 September 21; received 2009 September 19; in original form 2009 July 13. This project would not be possible without the superb AAOmega/2dF facility provided by the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO).We wish to thank all the AAO staff for their support, especially the night assistants, support astronomers and Russell Cannon (who greatly assisted with the quality control of the 2dF system). We also wish to thank Alejandro Dubrovsky for writing software used to check the guide star and blank sky positions, Maksym Bernyk and David Barnes for help with the data base construction, Peter Jensen and Max Spolaor for assistance with the redshift measurements, Michael Stanley for help with the selection of new GALEX positions andMichael Cooper for providingDEEP2 spectra for the comparison in Section 5.2.2. We wish to acknowledge financial support from The Australian Research Council (grants DP0772084 and LX0881951 directly for the WiggleZ project, and grant LE0668442 for programming support), Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Queensland, the AAO and The Gregg Thompson Dark Energy Travel Fund. GALEX is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledgeNASA’s support for construction, operation and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, theMax Planck Society and theHigher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS website is The RCS2 survey is based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the CFHT which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (CNRS) of France and the University of Hawaii. The RCS2 survey is supported by grants to HKCY from the Canada Research Chair programme and the Discovery programme of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilDP0772084
Australian Research CouncilLX0881951
Australian Research CouncilLE0668442
Swinburne University of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
The University of QueenslandUNSPECIFIED
Gregg Thompson Dark Energy Travel FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:surveys; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: photometry; galaxies: starburst; cosmology: observations; ultraviolet: galaxies
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100210-104344933
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17444
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Feb 2010 21:07
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 20:55

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