The Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey is one of the largest integral field spectroscopy (IFS) surveys performed to date. At its completion it will comprise 600 galaxies, observed with the PMAS spectrograph, covering the full spatial extent of these galaxies. The wavelength range between 3700 and 7500 Å is sampled with two spectroscopic configurations, a high resolution mode (V1200, R~1700, 3700-4200 Å), and a low resolution mode (V500, R~850, 3750-7500 Å).
The first CALIFA Data Release (DR1) provides to the community the fully reduced and quality-control tested datacubes of 100 galaxies, spanning the entire Hubble classification scheme, in both spectroscopic setups. Each datacube contains up to ~5000 individual spectra, thus in total this DR comprises ~500,000 individual spectra, i.e. an amount of spectroscopic data that is equivalent to ~60% of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. So far, the CALIFA collaboration has gathered data for 332 galaxies. Already now this number ranks equal with the biggest astronomical spectroscopic databases in existence.
The CALIFA Survey is being providing unprecedented insights into the assembly history and chemical evolution of galaxies. The survey is performed by a large international consortium of more than 80 researchers, distributed over more than 25 institutes in 16 countries. Researchers at Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) participate in the CALIFA collaboration, focusing in particular on the exploration of processes behind the excitation of faint ionized gas emission in early-type galaxies. Some of the physical mechanisms under study invoke hot evolved stars, large-scale shocks and Active Galactic Nuclei due to super-massive Black Holes at the centers of galaxies.
Jean Michel Gomes
Polychronis Papaderos (chair)