New York University Value-Added Galaxy Catalog: A galaxy catalog based on new public surveys

Michael R. Blanton, David J. Schlegel, Michael A. Strauss, J. Brinkmann, Douglas Finkbeiner, Masataka Fukugita, James E. Gunn, David W. Hogg, Željko Ivezićc, G. R. Knapp, Robert H. Lupton, Jeffrey A. Munn, Donald P. Schneider, Max Tegmark, Idit Zehavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

982 Scopus citations


Here we present the New York University Value-Added Galaxy Catalog (NYU-VAGC), a catalog of local gal-axies (mostly below z ≈ 0.3) based on a set of publicly released surveys matched to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 2. The photometric catalog consists of 693,319 galaxies, QSOs, and stars; 343,568 of these have redshift determinations, mostly from the SDSS. Excluding areas masked by bright stars, the photometric sample covers 3514 deg 2, and the spectroscopic sample covers 2627 deg 2 (with about 85% completeness). Earlier, proprietary versions of this catalog have formed the basis of many SDSS investigations of the power spectrum, correlation function, and luminosity function of galaxies. Future releases will follow future public releases of the SDSS. The catalog includes matches to the Two Micron All Sky Survey Point Source Catalog and Extended Source Catalog, the IRAS Point Source Catalog Redshift Survey, the Two-Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey, the Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies, and the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty cm survey. We calculate and compile derived quantities from the images and spectra of the galaxies in the catalogs (for example, K-corrections and structural parameters for the galaxies). The SDSS catalog presented here is photometrically calibrated in a more consistent way than that distributed by the SDSS Data Release 2 Archive Servers and is thus more appropriate for large-scale structure statistics, reducing systematic calibration errors across the sky from ∼2% to ∼ 1 %. We include an explicit description of the geometry of the catalog, including all imaging and targeting information as a function of sky position. Finally, we have performed eyeball quality checks on a large number of objects in the catalog in order to flag errors (such as errors in deblending). This catalog is complementary to the SDSS Archive Servers in that NYU-VAGC's calibration, geometric description, and conveniently small size are specifically designed for studying galaxy properties and large-scale structure statistics using the SDSS spectroscopic catalog.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2562-2578
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: distances and redshiftsw
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Galaxies: statistics


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