SDSS-V: Pioneering Panoptic Spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


SDSS-V will be an all-sky, multi-epoch spectroscopic survey of over six million objects. It is de-
signed to decode the history of the Milky Way Galaxy (MW), trace the emergence of the chemical
elements, reveal the inner workings of stars, and investigate the origin of planets. It will also cre-
ate an integral-field spectroscopic map of the interstellar gas in the Galaxy and the Local Group
that is 1,000 times larger than the current state of the art and at high enough spatial resolution to
reveal the self-regulation mechanisms of galactic ecosystems. SDSS-V will pioneer systematic,
spectroscopic monitoring across the whole sky, revealing changes on timescales from 20 minutes
to 20 years. The survey will thus track the flickers, flares, and radical transformations of the most
luminous persistent objects in the universe: massive black holes growing at the centers of galaxies.
The scope and flexibility of SDSS-V will be unique among both extant and anticipated spec-
troscopic surveys: it is all-sky, with matched survey infrastructures in both hemispheres; it provides
near-infrared and optical multi-object fiber spectroscopy that is rapidly reconfigurable to serve high
target densities, targets of opportunity, and time-domain monitoring; and it provides optical, ultra-
wide-field integral field spectroscopy. SDSS-V, with its programs anticipated to start in 2020,
will be perfectly timed to multiply the scientific output from major space missions (e.g.,
, Spektr-RG–
) and ground-based projects. SDSS-V builds on the 25-year heritage of
SDSS’s advances in data analysis, collaboration spirit and infrastructure, and product deliverables
in astronomy. The project is now refining its science scope, optimizing the survey strategies, and
developing new hardware that builds on the SDSS-IV infrastructure. We present here an overview
of the current state of these developments. SDSS-V is actively seeking to build its consortium of
institutional and individual members for a worldwide, partner-driven collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArXiv e-prints
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2017


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