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The Taipan galaxy survey: scientific goals and observing strategy


da Cunha, E and Hopkins, AM and Colless, M and Taylor, EN and Blake, C and Howlett, C and Magoulas, C and Lucey, JR and Lagos, C and Kuehn, K and Gordon, Y and Barat, D and Bian, F and Wolf, C and Cowley, MJ and White, M and Achitouv, I and Bilicki, M and Bland-Hawthorn, J and Bolejko, K and Brown, MJI and Brown, R and Bryant, J and Croom, S and Davis, TM and Driver, SP and Filopovic, MD and Hinton, SR and Johnston-Hollitt, M and Heath Jones, D and Koribalski, B and Kleiner, D and Lawrence, J and Lorente, N and Mould, J and Owers, MS and Pimbblet, K and Tinney, CG and Tothill, NFH and Watson, F, The Taipan galaxy survey: scientific goals and observing strategy, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 34 Article e047. ISSN 1448-6083 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Astronomical Society of Australia 2017

DOI: doi:10.1017/pasa.2017.41


Taipan is a multi-object spectroscopic galaxy survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2pi steradians over the southern sky, and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z<0.4. Taipan will use the newly-refurbished 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative 'Starbugs' positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6-deg diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating from 370 to 870nm with resolving power R>2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are: (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H_0) to 1% precision, and the structure growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 years, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i<17) of about 1.2x10^6 galaxies, supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i<18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8x10^6 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully-automated way, using a purpose-built automated 'virtual observer' software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value, by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gravitation, cosmology, astrophysics, large scale structure of the universe, particle dark matter
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Bolejko, K (Dr Krzysztof Bolejko)
ID Code:149753
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT140101270)
Web of Science® Times Cited:70
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-04-10
Last Modified:2022-07-20

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