The VIMOS VLT Deep Survey final data release: a spectroscopic sample of 35 016 galaxies and AGN out to z ~ 6.7 selected with 17.5 ≤ iAB ≤ 24.75
Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM – Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de
38 rue F. Joliot-Curie,
2 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani, 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3 INAF – IASF, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
5 INAF – IRA, via Gobetti, 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
6 Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Astronomia, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
7 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, UMR7095 CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
8 Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
9 SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
10 Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, No. 88, Section 4, Tingzhou Road, Wenshan District, 11677 Taipei, Taiwan Taipei, Taiwan
11 Departamento de Ciencias Fisicas, Universidad Andres Bello, 8370134 Santiago, Chile
12 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via E. Bianchi 46, Merate/via Brera 28, 23807 Milano, Italy
13 Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Centre de Physique Théorique, 13288 Marseille, France
14 Integral Science Data Centre, Genève, Ch. d’Écogia 16, 1290 Versoix Switzerland
15 Geneva Observatory, Ch. des Maillettes 51, 1290 Sauverny, Genève, Switzerland
16 Astronomical Observatory of the Jagiellonian University, ul Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków, Poland
17 National Centre for Nuclear Research, Hoza 69, 00-681, Warszawa, Poland
18 Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón, 44001 Teruel, Spain
Accepted: 22 August 2013
Context. Deep representative surveys of galaxies at different epochs are needed to make progress in understanding galaxy evolution.
Aims. We describe the completed VIMOS VLT Deep Survey and the final data release of 35 016 galaxies and type-I AGN with measured spectroscopic redshifts covering all epochs up to redshift z ~ 6.7, in areas from 0.142 to 8.7 square degrees, and volumes from 0.5 × 106 to 2 × 107 h-3 Mpc3.
Methods. We selected samples of galaxies based solely on their i-band magnitude reaching iAB = 24.75. Spectra were obtained with VIMOS on the ESO-VLT integrating 0.75 h, 4.5 h, and 18 h for the Wide, Deep, and Ultra-Deep nested surveys, respectively. We demonstrate that any “redshift desert” can be crossed successfully using spectra covering 3650 ≤ λ ≤ 9350 Å. A total of 1263 galaxies were again observed independently within the VVDS and from the VIPERS and MASSIV surveys. They were used to establish the redshift measurements reliability, to assess completeness in the VVDS sample, and to provide a weighting scheme taking the survey selection function into account. We describe the main properties of the VVDS samples, and the VVDS is compared to other spectroscopic surveys in the literature.
Results. In total we have obtained spectroscopic redshifts for 34 594 galaxies, 422 type-I AGN, and 12 430 Galactic stars. The survey enabled identifying galaxies up to very high redshifts with 4669 redshifts in 1 ≤ zspec ≤ 2, 561 in 2 ≤ zspec ≤ 3, and 468 with zspec > 3, and specific populations like Lyman-α emitters were identified out to z = 6.62. We show that the VVDS occupies a unique place in the parameter space defined by area, depth, redshift coverage, and number of spectra.
Conclusions. The VIMOS VLT Deep Survey provides a comprehensive survey of the distant universe, covering all epochs since z ~ 6, or more than 12 Gyr of cosmic time, with a uniform selection, which is the largest such sample to date. A wealth of science results derived from the VVDS have shed new light on the evolution of galaxies and AGN and on their distribution in space over this large cosmic time. The VVDS further demonstrates that large deep spectroscopic redshift surveys over all these epochs in the distant Universe are a key tool to observational cosmology. To enhance the legacy value of the survey, a final public release of the complete VVDS spectroscopic redshift sample is available at http://cesam.lam.fr/vvds.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / galaxies: high-redshift / cosmology: observations / large-scale structure of Universe / surveys
Based on data obtained with the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope, Paranal, Chile, under Large Programmes 070.A-9007 and 177.A-0837. Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS.
© ESO, 2013