The final data of the original Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) was published today, bring the end of an era of tremendous discovery. The original SDSS started in 2000 and performed a large-scale survey of the northern hemisphere detecting millions of galaxies and stars. In 2005, the SDSS was extended for a further three years to complete the originally envisaged main survey, while also undertaking two new surveys known as SEGUE (stars in our Galaxy) and the SDSS Supernova Survey. These ended in 2008 and are known collectively as SDSS-II (with the original SDSS labelled as SDSS-I). In 2008, a whole new set of SDSS surveys were started, known as SDSS-III, including new instruments (and the retirement of the previous SDSS imager), new targets and new science goals. The SDSS-III finishes this year (2014), with the SDSS-IV planned to begin taking us to 2020.
Sako et al. (2014) published today on the arXiv pre-print server signs the last proprietary data from the original SDSS-I/II surveys, providing the community with information on over 10000 transient objects detected by SDSS including a total of 1443 Type Ia Supernova (SNe Ia) with spectroscopic redshifts and photometric redshifts for a further 677 purely-photometric SNe Ia candidates. This is the largest such SN sample in existence.
Many at the ICG have been involved in all aspects of the SDSS-I/II/III/IV including Bob Nichol who has participated in SDSS since 1993. Several ICG staff, postdocs and students have been involved in the SDSS Supernova survey over the years (David Bacon, Bruce Bassett, Heather Campbell, Chris D’Andrea, Hubert Lampeitl, Jonas Johansson, Claudia Maraston, Roy Maartens, Mat Smith, Daniel Thomas) and several are co-authors on this final data release paper. Now our attention turns to the Dark Energy Survey