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Published April 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

The sixth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Adelman-McCarthy, Jennifer K.
Agüeros, Marcel A. ORCID icon
Allam, Sahar S.
Allende Prieto, Carlos ORCID icon
Anderson, Kurt S. J.
Anderson, Scott F.
Annis, James
Bahcall, Neta A.
Bailer-Jones, C. A. L.
Baldry, Ivan K.
Barentine, J. C.
Bassett, Bruce A.
Becker, Andrew C.
Beers, Timothy C. ORCID icon
Bell, Eric F.
Berlind, Andreas A.
Bernardi, Mariangela
Blanton, Michael R.
Bochanski, John J.
Boroski, William N.
Brinchmann, Jarle
Brinkmann, J.
Brunner, Robert J.
Budavári, Tamás
Carliles, Samuel
Carr, Michael A.
Castander, Francisco J. ORCID icon
Cinabro, David
Cool, R. J.
Covey, Kevin R. ORCID icon
Csabai, István
Cunha, Carlos E.
Davenport, James R. A. ORCID icon
Dilday, Ben
Doi, Mamoru
Eisenstein, Daniel J.
Evans, Michael L.
Fan, Xiaohui ORCID icon
Finkbeiner, Douglas P.
Friedman, Scott D.
Frieman, Joshua A.
Fukugita, Masataka
Gänsicke, Boris T. ORCID icon
Gates, Evalyn ORCID icon
Gillespie, Bruce
Glazebrook, Karl
Gray, Jim
Grebel, Eva K. ORCID icon
Gunn, James E.
Gurbani, Vijay K.
Hall, Patrick B.
Harding, Paul
Harvanek, Michael
Hawley, Suzanne L. ORCID icon
Hayes, Jeffrey
Heckman, Timothy M.
Hendry, John S.
Hindsley, Robert B.
Hirata, Christopher M. ORCID icon
Hogan, Craig J.
Hogg, David W. ORCID icon
Hyde, Joseph B.
Ichikawa, Shin-ichi
Ivezić, Željko ORCID icon
Jester, Sebastian
Johnson, Jennifer A. ORCID icon
Jorgensen, Anders M.
Jurić, Mario ORCID icon
Kent, Stephen M.
Kessler, R. ORCID icon
Kleinman, S. J.
Knapp, G. R. ORCID icon
Kron, Richard G.
Krzesinski, Jurek
Kuropatkin, Nikolay
Lamb, Donald Q.
Lampeitl, Hubert
Lebedeva, Svetlana
Lee, Young Sun
Leger, R. French
Lépine, Sébastien ORCID icon
Lima, Marcos
Lin, Huan
Long, Daniel C.
Loomis, Craig P.
Loveday, Jon
Lupton, Robert H. ORCID icon
Malanushenko, Olena
Malanushenko, Viktor
Mandelbaum, Rachel ORCID icon
Margon, Bruce ORCID icon
Marriner, John P.
Martínez-Delgado, David ORCID icon
Matsubara, Takahiko
McGehee, Peregrine M. ORCID icon
McKay, Timothy A.
Meiksin, Avery
Morrison, Heather L.
Munn, Jeffrey A. ORCID icon
Nakajima, Reiko
Neilsen, Eric H., Jr.
Newberg, Heidi Jo
Nichol, Robert C.
Nicinski, Tom
Nieto-Santisteban, Maria
Nitta, Atsuko
Okamura, Sadanori
Owen, Russell
Oyaizu, Hiroaki
Padmanabhan, Nikhil
Pan, Kaike
Park, Changbom
Peoples, John, Jr.
Pier, Jeffrey R.
Pope, Adrian C.
Purger, Norbert
Raddick, M. Jordan
Re Fiorentin, Paola
Richards, Gordon T.
Richmond, Michael W.
Riess, Adam G.
Rix, Hans-Walter ORCID icon
Rockosi, Constance M.
Sako, Masao
Schlegel, David J. ORCID icon
Schneider, Donald P.
Schreiber, Matthias R.
Schwope, Axel D.
Seljak, Uroš
Sesar, Branimir ORCID icon
Sheldon, Erin
Shimasaku, Kazu
Sivarani, Thirupathi
Smith, J. Allyn
Snedden, Stephanie A.
Steinmetz, Matthias
Strauss, Michael A. ORCID icon
SubbaRao, Mark
Suto, Yasushi
Szalay, Alexander S.
Szapudi, Alexander
Szkody, Paula
Tegmark, Max
Thakar, Aniruddha R.
Tremonti, Christy A.
Tucker, Douglas L.
Uomoto, Alan
Vanden Berk, Daniel E.
Vandenberg, Jan
Vidrih, S.
Vogeley, Michael S.
Voges, Wolfgang
Vogt, Nicole P.
Wadadekar, Yogesh
Weinberg, David H.
West, Andrew A.
White, Simon D. M.
Wilhite, Brian C.
Yanny, Brian ORCID icon
Yocum, D. R.
York, Donald G.
Zehavi, Idit
Zucker, Daniel B.


This paper describes the Sixth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With this data release, the imaging of the northern Galactic cap is now complete. The survey contains images and parameters of roughly 287 million objects over 9583 deg^2, including scans over a large range of Galactic latitudes and longitudes. The survey also includes 1.27 million spectra of stars, galaxies, quasars, and blank sky (for sky subtraction) selected over 7425 deg^2. This release includes much more stellar spectroscopy than was available in previous data releases and also includes detailed estimates of stellar temperatures, gravities, and metallicities. The results of improved photometric calibration are now available, with uncertainties of roughly 1% in g, r, i, and z, and 2% in u, substantially better than the uncertainties in previous data releases. The spectra in this data release have improved wavelength and flux calibration, especially in the extreme blue and extreme red, leading to the qualitatively better determination of stellar types and radial velocities. The spectrophotometric fluxes are now tied to point-spread function magnitudes of stars rather than fiber magnitudes. This gives more robust results in the presence of seeing variations, but also implies a change in the spectrophotometric scale, which is now brighter by roughly 0.35 mag. Systematic errors in the velocity dispersions of galaxies have been fixed, and the results of two independent codes for determining spectral classifications and redshifts are made available. Additional spectral outputs are made available, including calibrated spectra from individual 15 minute exposures and the sky spectrum subtracted from each exposure. We also quantify a recently recognized underestimation of the brightnesses of galaxies of large angular extent due to poor sky subtraction; the bias can exceed 0.2 mag for galaxies brighter than r = 14 mag.

Additional Information

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 July 23; accepted 2007 October 18. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSSWeb site is http://www.sdss.org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.

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