AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 4. Evolution of Galaxies, Galaxy Surveys
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[4.11] Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Over One Million Spectra

A. Merrelli, A. Pope (Carnegie Mellon University), S. Burles (U. Chicago), M. Newcomb, R.C. Nichol (Carnegie Mellon University), R. Owen (U. Washington), SDSS Collaboration

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging camera saw first light last year. The past year has provided some exciting science from this initial engineering data, and the SDSS will soon be entering survey imaging mode. Over the next year, the SDSS plans to commission the second phase of the survey; spectroscopy of over 1 million galaxies and 100,000 quasars. In this poster, we will review the progress of the on-going spectroscopic commissioning of the SDSS. In our poster, we will also present two expected scientific highlights of SDSS spectroscopy. First, one plan for the spectroscopic commissioning phase of the SDSS is detailed study of the Coma cluster of galaxies. Coma is an excellent ``test-bed'' for the SDSS spectroscopic operations since it contains a high-density of existing, published redshifts to compare against. We hope to obtain ~6,000 spectra within a five degree field around the cluster center which will enable detailed studies of the dynamics, evolution, and structure of this cluster. Second, the quality of the SDSS spectra will facilitate detailed spectral studies of individual galaxies and QSOs (spectral resolution of R=1800 and spectral coverage of 3900A to 9100A). Moreover, the SDSS will attempt to spectrophotometrically calibrate these spectra using the SDSS photometry and we will test this ambition during the commissioning phase of the SDSS. Even if it is practical for only a small subset of all SDSS spectra, it would yield an exciting new dataset of spectrophotometrically-calibrated galaxies large enough to statistically study their stellar contents.

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