We present an overview of a new integral field spectroscopic survey called MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory), one of three core programs in the fourth-generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV) that began on 2014 July 1. MaNGA will investigate the internal kinematic structure and composition of gas and stars in an unprecedented sample of 10,000 nearby galaxies. We summarize essential characteristics of the instrument and survey design in the context of MaNGA's key science goals and present prototype observations to demonstrate MaNGA's scientific potential. MaNGA employs dithered observations with 17 fiber-bundle integral field units that vary in diameter from 12'' (19 fibers) to 32'' (127 fibers). Two dual-channel spectrographs provide simultaneous wavelength coverage over 3600-10300 Å at R ~ 2000. With a typical integration time of 3 hr, MaNGA reaches a target r-band signal-to-noise ratio of 4-8 (Å–1 per 2'' fiber) at 23 AB mag arcsec–2, which is typical for the outskirts of MaNGA galaxies. Targets are selected with M * ≳ 109 M ☉ using SDSS-I redshifts and i-band luminosity to achieve uniform radial coverage in terms of the effective radius, an approximately flat distribution in stellar mass, and a sample spanning a wide range of environments. Analysis of our prototype observations demonstrates MaNGA's ability to probe gas ionization, shed light on recent star formation and quenching, enable dynamical modeling, decompose constituent components, and map the composition of stellar populations. MaNGA's spatially resolved spectra will enable an unprecedented study of the astrophysics of nearby galaxies in the coming 6 yr.
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Funding for SDSS-III and SDSS-IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Participating Institutions. Additional funding for SDSS-III comes from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Further information about both projects is available at www.sdss.org.
Due to the large number of funding sources, only the first few are listed in this section. For the complete list of funding sources, please download this article.
Bundy, Kevin; Bershady, Matthew A.; Law, David R.; Yan, Renbin; Drory, Niv; MacDonald, Nicholas; Wake, David A.; Cherinka, Brian; Sánchez-Gallego, José R.; Weijmans, Anne-Marie; Thomas, Daniel; Tremonti, Christy; Masters, Karen; Coccato, Lodovico; Diamond-Stanic, Aleksandar M.; Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso; Avila-Reese, Vladimir; Badenes, Carles; Falcón-Barroso, Jésus; Belfiore, Francesco; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Blanc, Guillermo A.; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Blanton, Michael R.; Brownstein, Joel R.; Byler, Nell; Cappellari, Michele; Conroy, Charlie; Dutton, Aaron A.; Emsellem, Eric; and Zhang, Kai, "Overview of the SDSS-IV MaNGA Survey: Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory" (2014). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 332.