EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 439, Number 3, September I 2005
Page(s) 845 - 862
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041960


A&A 439, 845-862 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041960

The VIMOS VLT deep survey

First epoch VVDS-deep survey: 11 564 spectra with 17.5 $\leq$ I $_\textit{\textbf{\small AB}}$ $\leq$ 24, and the redshift distribution over 0 $\leq$ z $\leq$ 5
O. Le Fèvre1, G. Vettolani2, B. Garilli3, L. Tresse1, D. Bottini3, V. Le Brun1, D. Maccagni3, J. P. Picat4, R. Scaramella2, M. Scodeggio3, A. Zanichelli2, C. Adami1, M. Arnaboldi5, S. Arnouts1, S. Bardelli6, M. Bolzonella7, A. Cappi6, S. Charlot8, 9, P. Ciliegi6, T. Contini4, S. Foucaud3, P. Franzetti3, I. Gavignaud4, 10, L. Guzzo11, O. Ilbert1, 6, A. Iovino11, H. J. McCracken8, B. Marano7, C. Marinoni1, 11, G. Mathez4, A. Mazure1, B. Meneux1, R. Merighi6, S. Paltani1, R. Pellò4, A. Pollo11, L. Pozzetti6, M. Radovich5, G. Zamorani6, E. Zucca6, M. Bondi2, A. Bongiorno7, G. Busarello5, F. Lamareille4, Y. Mellier8, P. Merluzzi5, V. Ripepi5 and D. Rizzo4

1  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, OAMP, Université de Provence, UMR 6110, Traverse du Siphon-Les trois Lucs, 13012 Marseille, France,
    e-mail: olivier.lefevre@oamp.fr
2  Istituto di Radio-Astronomia - INAF, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3  IASF - INAF, 20133 Milano, Italy
4  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique - Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 31400 Toulouse, France
5  Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte - INAF, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
6  Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna - INAF, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
7  Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Astronomia, via Ranzani, 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
8  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, UMR 7095, 98bis Bd. Arago, 75014 Paris, France
9  Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, 85741 Garching, Germany
10  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
11  Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera - INAF, via Brera 28, 20121 Milan, Italy

(Received 6 September 2004 / Accepted 22 February 2005 )

Abstract
This paper presents the "First Epoch" sample from the VIMOS VLT Deep Survey (VVDS). The VVDS goals, observations, data reduction with the VIPGI pipeline and redshift measurement scheme with KBRED are discussed. Data have been obtained with the VIsible Multi Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) on the ESO-VLT UT3, allowing us to observe $\simeq$600 slits simultaneously at a spectral resolution $R\simeq230$. A total of 11 564 objects have been observed in the VVDS-02h and VVDS-CDFS "Deep" fields over a total area of $0.61\,$deg2, selected solely on the basis of apparent magnitude $17.5 \leq I_{AB} \leq 24$.

The VVDS efficiently covers the redshift range $0 < z \leq 5$. It is successfully going through the "redshift desert" 1.5<z<2.2, while the range 2.2 < z < 2.7 remains of difficult access because of the VVDS wavelength coverage. A total of 9677 galaxies have a redshift measurement, 836 objects are stars, 90 objects are AGN, and a redshift could not be measured for 961 objects. There are 1065 galaxies with a measured redshift $z\geq1.4$. When considering only the primary spectroscopic targets, the survey reaches a redshift measurement completeness of 78% overall (93% including less reliable flag 1 objects), with a spatial sampling of the population of galaxies of ~25% and ~30% in the VVDS-02h and VVDS-CDFS respectively. The redshift accuracy measured from repeated observations with VIMOS and comparison to other surveys is ~276 km s-1.

From this sample we are able to present for the first time the redshift distribution of a magnitude-limited spectroscopic sample down to IAB=24. The redshift distribution N(z) has a median of z=0.62, z=0.65, z=0.70, and z=0.76, for magnitude-limited samples with $I_{AB}\leq22.5$, 23.0, 23.5 and 24.0 respectively. A high redshift tail above redshift 2 and up to redshift 5 becomes readily apparent for IAB>23.5, probing the bright star-forming population of galaxies. This sample provides an unprecedented dataset to study galaxy evolution over ~90% of the life of the universe.


Key words: cosmology: observations -- galaxies: high-redshift -- galaxies: distances and redshift -- surveys -- galaxies: evolution -- cosmology: large scale structure of Universe

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© ESO 2005