The VLT LEGA-C spectroscopic survey: the physics of galaxies at a lookback time of 7 Gyr

A. van der Wel, K. Noeske, R. Bezanson, C. Pacifici, A. Gallazzi, M. Franx, J. C. Muñoz-Mateos, E. F. Bell, G. Brammer, S. Charlot, P. Chauké, I. Labbé, M. V. Maseda, A. Muzzin, H.-W. Rix, D. Sobral, J. van de Sande, P. G. van Dokkum, V. Wild, C. Wolf

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The Large Early Galaxy Census (LEGA-Ca) is a Public Spectroscopic Survey of ∼ 3200 K-band selected galaxies at redshifts z=0.6-1.0 with stellar masses M* > 1010M_sun, conducted with VIMOS on ESO's Very Large Telescope. The survey is embedded in the COSMOS field (R.A. =10h00; Dec.=+2deg). The 20-hour long integrations produce high-S/N continuum spectra that reveal ages, metallicities and velocity dispersions of the stellar populations. LEGA-C's unique combination of sample size and depth will enable us for the first time to map the stellar content at large look-back time, across galaxies of different types and star-formation activity. Observations started in December 2014 and are planned to be completed by mid 2018, with early data releases ofthe spectra and value-added products. In this paper we present thescience case, the observing strategy, an overview of the data reduction process and data products, and a first look at the relationship between galaxy structure and spectral properties, as it existed 7 Gyr ago.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2016


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: general
  • Galaxies: stellar content


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