The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) is designed to measure the scale of baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) in the clustering of matter over a larger volume than the combined efforts of all previous spectroscopic surveys of large-scale structure. BOSS uses 1.5 million luminous galaxies as faint as i = 19.9 over 10,000 deg 2 to measure BAO to redshifts z < 0.7. Observations of neutral hydrogen in the Lyα forest in more than 150,000 quasar spectra (g < 22) will constrain BAO over the redshift range 2.15 < z < 3.5. Early results from BOSS include the first detection of the large-scale three-dimensional clustering of the Lyα forest and a strong detection from the Data Release 9 data set of the BAO in the clustering of massive galaxies at an effective redshift z = 0.57. We project that BOSS will yield measurements of the angular diameter distance d A to an accuracy of 1.0% at redshifts z = 0.3 and z = 0.57 and measurements of H (z) to 1.8% and 1.7% at the same redshifts. Forecasts for Lyα forest constraints predict a measurement of an overall dilation factor that scales the highly degenerate D A (z) and H −1 (z) parameters to an accuracy of 1.9% at z ∼ 2.5 when the survey is complete. Here, we provide an overview of the selection of spectroscopic targets, planning of observations, and analysis of data and data quality of BOSS.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) presents the first spectroscopic data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). This ninth data release (DR9) of the SDSS project includes 535,995 new galaxy spectra (median z ∼ 0.52), 102,100 new quasar spectra (median z ∼ 2.32), and 90,897 new stellar spectra, along with the data presented in previous data releases. These spectra were obtained with the new BOSS spectrograph and were taken between 2009 December and 2011 July. In addition, the stellar parameters pipeline, which determines radial velocities, surface temperatures, surface gravities, and metallicities of stars, has been updated and refined with improvements in temperature estimates for stars with T eff < 5000 K and in metallicity estimates for stars with [Fe/H] > −0.5. DR9 includes new stellar parameters for all stars presented in DR8, including stars from SDSS-I and II, as well as those observed as part of the SDSS-III Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration-2 (SEGUE-2).
We present measurements of galaxy clustering from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), which is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS‐III). These use the Data Release 9 (DR9) CMASS sample, which contains 264 283 massive galaxies covering 3275 square degrees with an effective redshift z = 0.57 and redshift range 0.43 < z < 0.7. Assuming a concordance ΛCDM cosmological model, this sample covers an effective volume of 2.2 Gpc3, and represents the largest sample of the Universe ever surveyed at this density, n¯≈3×10−4h−3 Mpc 3. We measure the angle‐averaged galaxy correlation function and power spectrum, including density‐field reconstruction of the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) feature. The acoustic features are detected at a significance of 5σ in both the correlation function and power spectrum. Combining with the SDSS‐II luminous red galaxy sample, the detection significance increases to 6.7σ. Fitting for the position of the acoustic features measures the distance to z = 0.57 relative to the sound horizon DV/rs = 13.67 ± 0.22 at z = 0.57. Assuming a fiducial sound horizon of 153.19 Mpc, which matches cosmic microwave background constraints, this corresponds to a distance DV (z = 0.57) = 2094 ± 34 Mpc. At 1.7 per cent, this is the most precise distance constraint ever obtained from a galaxy survey. We place this result alongside previous BAO measurements in a cosmological distance ladder and find excellent agreement with the current supernova measurements. We use these distance measurements to constrain various cosmological models, finding continuing support for a flat Universe with a cosmological constant.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) started a new phase in 2008 August, with new instrumentation and new surveys focused on Galactic structure and chemical evolution, measurements of the baryon oscillation feature in the clustering of galaxies and the quasar Lyα forest, and a radial velocity search for planets around ∼8000 stars. This paper describes the first data release of SDSS-III (and the eighth counting from the beginning of the SDSS). The release includes five-band imaging of roughly 5200 deg 2 in the southern Galactic cap, bringing the total footprint of the SDSS imaging to 14,555 deg 2 , or over a third of the Celestial Sphere. All the imaging data have been reprocessed with an improved sky-subtraction algorithm and a final, self-consistent photometric recalibration and flat-field determination. This release also includes all data from the second phase of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE-2), consisting of spectroscopy of approximately 118,000 stars at both high and low Galactic latitudes. All the more than half a million stellar spectra obtained with the SDSS spectrograph have been reprocessed through an improved stellar parameter pipeline, which has better determination of metallicity for high-metallicity stars.
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