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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.
While recent years have seen rapid growth in the number of galaxy peculiar velocity measurements, disagreements remain about the extent to which the peculiar velocity field - a tracer of the large-scale distribution of mass - agrees with both ΛCDM expectations and with velocity field models derived from redshift surveys. The 6dF Galaxy Survey includes peculiar velocities for nearly 9 000 early-type galaxies (6dFGSv), making it the largest and most homogeneous galaxy peculiar velocity sample to date. We have used the 6dFGS velocity field to determine the amplitude and scale of large-scale cosmic flows in the local universe and test standard cosmological models. We also compare the galaxy density and peculiar velocity fields to establish the distribution of dark and luminous matter and better constrain key cosmological parameters such as the redshift-space distortion parameter.
We develop a robust Bayesian model to derive peculiar velocities and Fundamental Plane (FP) distances for a subsample of 9000 galaxies from the 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS). These galaxies form the basis of 6dFGSv, the largest and most uniform galaxy peculiar-velocity sample to date. We perform a Bayesian analysis of the data set as a whole, determining cosmological parameters from the peculiar-velocity field (e.g., fitting β and the bulk flow), by comparing to the field predicted from the redshift survey and assuming that the galaxy distribution traces the matter distribution.
The 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS) is an all-southern-sky galaxy survey, including 125,000 redshifts and a Fundamental Plane (FP) subsample of 10,000 peculiar velocities. This makes 6dFGS the largest peculiar-velocity sample to date. We have fitted the FP with a tri-variate Gaussian model using a maximum-likelihood approach, and derive the Bayesian probability distribution of the peculiar velocity for each of the 10,000 galaxies. We fit models of the velocity field, including comparisons to the field predicted from the redshift-survey density field, to derive the values of the redshift-space distortion parameter β, the bulk flow and the residual bulk flow in excess of that predicted from the density field. We compare these results to those derived by other authors and discuss the cosmological implications.
We have measured Fundamental Plane (FP) parameters in the 2MASS J, H and K passbands for 10,000 ellipticals, lenticulars and early-type spiral bulges in the 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS) – a spectroscopic survey of the southern sky with |b| > 10° (Jones et al. 2009). 6dFGS provides a large near-infrared-selected sample of galaxies for accurately determining the NIR FP and investigating the trends in the FP with stellar population, morphology and environment.
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