The DESI survey validation: results from visual inspection of bright galaxies, luminous red galaxies, and emission line galaxies

Ting-Wen Lan, R. Tojeiro, E. Armengaud, J. Xavier Prochaska, T. M. Davis, David M. Alexander, A. Raichoor, Rongpu Zhou, Christophe Yeche, C. Balland, S. BenZvi, A. Berti, R. Canning, A. Carr, H. Chittenden, S. Cole, M. -C. Cousinou, K. Dawson, Biprateep Dey, K. DouglassA. Edge, S. Escoffier, A. Glanville, S. Gontcho A Gontcho, J. Guy, C. Hahn, C. Howlett, Ho Seong Hwang, L. Jiang, A. Kovacs, M. Mezcua, S. Moore, S. Nadathur, M. Oh, D. Parkinson, A. Rocher, A. J. Ross, V. Ruhlmann-Kleider, C. G. Sabiu, K. Said, C. Saulder, D. Sierra-Porta, B. Weiner, P. Zarrouk, Y. Zhang, H. Zou, S. Ahlen, S. Bailey, D. Brooks, A. P. Cooper, A. de la Macorra, A. Dey, G. Dhungana, P. Doel, S. Eftekharzadeh, K. Fanning, A. Font-Ribera, L. Garrison, E. Gaztanaga, R. Kehoe, T. Kisner, A. Kremin, M. Landriau, L. Le Guillou, Michael E. Levi, C. Magneville, Aaron M. Meisner, R. Miquel, J. Moustakas, Adam D. Myers, Jeffrey A. Newman, J. D. Nie, N. Palanque-Delabrouille, W. J. Percival, C. Poppett, F. Prada, M. Schubnell, Gregory Tarle, B. A. Weaver, K. Zhang, Zhimin Zhou

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The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Survey has obtained a set of spectroscopic measurements of galaxies to validate the final survey design and target selections. To assist in these tasks, we visually inspect DESI spectra of approximately 2500 bright galaxies, 3500 luminous red galaxies (LRGs), and 10,000 emission-line galaxies (ELGs) to obtain robust redshift identifications. We then utilize the visually inspected redshift information to characterize the performance of the DESI operation. Based on the visual inspection (VI) catalogs, our results show that the final survey design yields samples of bright galaxies, LRGs, and ELGs with purity greater than 99%. Moreover, we demonstrate that the precision of the redshift measurements is approximately 10 km s−1 for bright galaxies and ELGs and approximately 40 km s−1 for LRGs. The average redshift accuracy is within 10 km s−1 for the three types of galaxies. The VI process also helps improve the quality of the DESI data by identifying spurious spectral features introduced by the pipeline. Finally, we show examples of unexpected real astronomical objects, such as Lyα emitters and strong lensing candidates, identified by VI. These results demonstrate the importance and utility of visually inspecting data from incoming and upcoming surveys, especially during their early operation phases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Number of pages18
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.GA
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/T000244/1


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