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The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m 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° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm 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, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total 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 dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 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; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
We present the proceedings from a two-day workshop held at Swinburne University on 2005 May 24–25. The workshop participants highlighted current Australian research on both theoretical and observational aspects of galaxy groups. These proceedings include short one-page summaries of a number of the talks presented at the workshop. The talks presented ranged from reconciling N-body simulations with observations, to the Hı content of galaxies in groups and the existence of ‘dark galaxies’. The formation and existence of ultra-compact dwarfs in groups, and a new supergroup in Eridanus were also discussed.
Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) at low redshift provide a precise and largely model-independent way to measure the Hubble constant, H0. The 6dF Galaxy Survey measurement of the BAO scale gives a value of H0 = 67 ± 3.2 km s−1 Mpc−1, achieving a 1σ precision of 5%. With improved analysis techniques, the planned wallaby (Hi) and taipan (optical) redshift surveys are predicted to measure H0 to 1–3% precision.
This paper presents a new method of vessel heave compensation based on a new breed of commercially available low cost GPS receivers that can measure and record the carrier phase observable. The technique is based on the extraction of a highly accurate velocity estimate from standalone receivers using time differenced carrier phase observable. Two trials have been undertaken, one using a Spirent GPS signal simulator and another conducted at sea. The simulator trial thoroughly tested the use of commercially available low cost receivers for this method of velocity estimation through their comparison with higher grade receivers and quantified the errors under varying dynamics. The sea trial tested the heave algorithm against other heave sensors and an accurate reference provided by an Applanix POSRS and showed it to be capable of producing a heave output to rival inertial based heave sensors using commercially available low cost GPS receivers.
The Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey (SUMSS) is a radio continuum imaging survey of the southern sky at 843 MHz, with similar sensitivity and resolution to the northern NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS). We have combined radio data from SUMSS and NVSS with optical spectra from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey and 6dF Galaxy Survey to study the space distribution and properties of both AGN and star-forming galaxies in the local universe (redshift range 0 < z < 0.3). We also discuss new results on radio-source clustering in the more distant universe (z ∼ 1) and present the first results from a search for the most distant (z > 3) southern radio galaxies.
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