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The Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S^4G)

Sheth, Kartik and Mizusawa, Trisha and Armus, Lee and Capak, Peter and Jarrett, Thomas H. and Helou, George and Ogle, Patrick and Surace, Jason A. and Kasliwal, Mansi (2010) The Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S^4G). Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 122 (898). pp. 1397-1414. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1086/657638.

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The Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S^4G) is an Exploration Science Legacy Program approved for the Spitzer post–cryogenic mission. It is a volume-, magnitude-, and size-limited (d < 40 Mpc, |b|> 30°,m_(Bcorr) < 15:5, and D_(25) > 1') survey of 2331 galaxies using the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) at 3.6 and 4.5 μm. Each galaxy is observed for 240 s and mapped to ≥ 1:5 × D_(25). The final mosaicked images have a typical 1 σ rms noise level of 0.0072 and 0:0093 MJy sr^-1 at 3.6 and 4.5 μm, respectively. Our azimuthally averaged surface brightness profile typically traces isophotes at μ_(3.6μm (AB)(1σ) ~ 27 mag arcsec^(-2), equivalent to a stellar mass surface density of ~1 M_⊙pc^(-2). S^4G thus provides an unprecedented data set for the study of the distribution of mass and stellar structures in the local universe. This large, unbiased, and extremely deep sample of all Hubble types from dwarfs to spirals to ellipticals will allow for detailed structural studies, not only as a function of stellar mass, but also as a function of the local environment. The data from this survey will serve as a vital testbed for cosmological simulations predicting the stellar mass properties of present-day galaxies. This article introduces the survey and describes the sample selection, the significance of the 3.6 and 4.5 μm bands for this study, and the data collection and survey strategies. We describe the S^4G data analysis pipeline and present measurements for a first set of galaxies, observed in both the cryogenic and warm mission phases of Spitzer. For every galaxy we tabulate the galaxy diameter, position angle, axial ratio, inclination at μ_(3.6μm)(AB) = 25:5, and 26:5 mag arcsec^(-2) (equivalent to ≈μ_B(AB) = 27:2 and 28:2 mag arcsec^(-2), respectively). These measurements will form the initial S^4G catalog of galaxy properties. We also measure the total magnitude and the azimuthally averaged radial profiles of ellipticity, position angle, surface brightness, and color. Finally, using the galaxy-fitting code GALFIT, we deconstruct each galaxy into its main constituent stellar components: the bulge/spheroid, disk, bar, and nuclear point source, where necessary. Together, these data products will provide a comprehensive and definitive catalog of stellar structures, mass, and properties of galaxies in the nearby universe and will enable a variety of scientific investigations, some of which are highlighted in this introductory S^4G survey paper.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Sheth, Kartik0000-0002-5496-4118
Mizusawa, Trisha0000-0001-7182-5307
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Capak, Peter0000-0003-3578-6843
Jarrett, Thomas H.0000-0002-4939-734X
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Ogle, Patrick0000-0002-3471-981X
Surace, Jason A.0000-0001-7291-0087
Kasliwal, Mansi0000-0002-5619-4938
Additional Information:© 2010 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2010 April 22; accepted 2010 October 6; published 2010 December 2. The authors thank the referee for useful comments and suggestions that greatly helped improve this article. We are also grateful to the dedicated staff at the Spitzer Science Center for their support and help with the planning and execution of this legacy exploration program. K. S. would like to thank L. Armus, E. Bell, S. Carey, E. Churchwell, M. Dickinson, G. Helou, N. Scoville, and J. Stauffer for sharing their experiences in leading large teams. A. G. d. P. and J. C. M. M. are partially financed by the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grants AyA2006-02358 and AyA2009-10368. A. G. d. P. is also financed by the Spanish Ramón y Cajal program. J. C. M. M. acknowledges the receipt of a Formación del Profesorado Universitario fellowship. E. L. and H. S. acknowledge support from the Academy of Finland. K. M. D. is supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-0802399. D. M. E. acknowledges support from the Spitzer Science Center from NASA grant JPL RSA-1368024. R. B. acknowledges support from NSF grant AST 05-07140. E. A. and A. B. thank the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales and ANR-06-BLAN-0172 for support. K. L. M. acknowledges funding from the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation as the 2008 IAU Fellow, from the University of Portsmouth, and from the South East Physics Network. This work is based on observations and archival data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA. We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA JPL/Spitzer grant RSA 1374189 provided for the S^4G project.
Group:COSMOS, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nacional de Astronomia y AstrofisicaAyA2006-02358
Nacional de Astronomia y AstrofisicaAyA2009-10368
Ramon y Cajal programmeUNSPECIFIED
Formacion del Profesorado UniversitarioUNSPECIFIED
Academy of FinlandUNSPECIFIED
NSFAST 05-07140
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Peter and Patricia Gruber FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of PortsmouthUNSPECIFIED
South East Physics NetworkUNSPECIFIED
NASARSA 1374189
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-06-BLAN-0172
Issue or Number:898
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110126-084714506
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G) Kartik Sheth, Michael Regan, Joannah L. Hinz, Armando Gil de Paz, Karín Menéndez-Delmestre, Juan-Carlos Muñoz-Mateos, Mark Seibert, Taehyun Kim, Eija Laurikainen, Heikki Salo, Dimitri A. Gadotti, Jarkko Laine, Trisha Mizusawa, Lee Armus, E. Athanassoula, Albert Bosma, Ronald J. Buta, Peter Capak, Thomas H. Jarrett, Debra M. Elmegreen, Bruce G. Elmegreen, Johan H. Knapen, Jin Koda, George Helou, Luis C. Ho, Barry F. Madore, Karen L. Masters, Bahram Mobasher, Patrick Ogle, Chien Y. Peng, Eva Schinnerer, Jason A. Surace, Dennis Zaritsky, Sébastien Comerón, Bonita de Swardt, Sharon E. Meidt, Mansi Kasliwal and Manuel Aravena Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Vol. 122, No. 898 (December 2010), pp. 1397-1414
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21894
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:26 Jan 2011 21:33
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:01

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