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Example MaNGA galaxy with IFU.

Principal Investigator: Kevin Bundy (Kavli IPMU)

Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO (MaNGA): Unlike previous surveys which measured light only at the centers of target galaxies, MaNGA will bundle sets of optical fibers into tightly-packed arrays, enabling spectral measurements across the face of each of ~10,000 nearby galaxies.

MaNGA's goal is to understand the "life cycle" of present day galaxies from imprinted clues of their birth and assembly, through their ongoing growth via star formation and merging, to their death from quenching at late times.

Key Science Questions

To answer these questions, MaNGA will provide two-dimensional maps of stellar velocity and velocity dispersion, mean stellar age and star formation history, stellar metallicity, element abundance ratio, stellar mass surface density, ionized gas velocity, ionized gas metallicity, star formation rate and dust extinction for a statistically powerful sample. The galaxies are selected to span a stellar mass interval of nearly 3 orders of magnitude. No cuts are made on color, morphology or environment, so the sample is fully representative of the local galaxy population.

Just as tree-ring dating yields information about climate on Earth hundreds of years into the past, MaNGA's observations of the dynamical structures and composition of galaxies will help unravel their evolutionary histories.

The below image shows some example data and derived maps from a galaxy observed in a test run of the MaNGA instrument which happened in January 2013.

Example MaNGA maps from the Jan 2013 test run. Credit: Sebastian Sanchez.

MaNGA Technical Details

MaNGA at a glance
Dark-time observations
Fall 2014 - Spring 2020
17 IFUs per 7 deg2 plate
Wavelength: 360-1000 nm, resolution R~2000
10,000 galaxies across ~4000 deg2, redshift z~0.03
3-hour exposures with dithering
Spatial sampling of 1-2 kpc
Per-fiber S/N=5-10 at 1.5 Re

Sample Selection

Galaxies will be selected from the SDSS Main Galaxy Legacy Area, with selection cuts applied to only redshift and a color-based stellar mass estimate.

The MaNGA Sample
Flat stellar mass distribution with M > 109 Msun
Smallest galaxy diameter sampled by at least 5 spatial bins
Primary Sample: 60%, spatial coverage to 1.5 Re
Secondary Sample: 30%, spatial coverage to 2.5 Re
Tertiary Sample: 10%, volume-limited shell at the Coma distance
No size or inclination cuts


On the left, an image of the face of a 127 fiber IFU. Its ferrule housing which holds the IFU and allows it to be plugged into the SDSS plate is shown on the right.
MaNGA Instrumentation
Buffered fibers with 120 micron (2'') core diameters
Close-packed hexagonal fibers IFUs, 54% live-core fill factor
IFU size from 19 to 127 fibers, diameters from 12'' to 32''
IFU complement per plate: 2x19; 4x37; 4x61; 2x91; 5x127
92 IFU-associated sky fibers
12 7-fiber "mini-bundles" for spectrophotometric calibration
Total number of fibers: 1423

Field Layout

A simulation of a possible MaNGA survey overlayed on other know/planned surveys. The circles show possible plate positions, filled circles are observed plates.The details of this are subject to change.


Jan 2013 Successful MaNGA prototype test-run at APO
May 2013 Passed Critical Design Review
Jun 2013-Mar 2014 Final instrument production
Jan 2014 Software and Survey Design Review (Portsmouth)
Mar 2014 First on-sky tests and early commissioning
Aug 2014 Survey operations begin; 1600 galaxies/year.
Jul 2016 First public data release as part of SDSS-DR13.


More details on the MaNGA Wiki (for SDSS collaboration members).