The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the most ambitious astronomical survey ever undertaken. The survey has mapped one-quarter of the entire sky in detail, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of hundreds of millions of celestial objects. It has also measured the distances (redshifts) to more than a million galaxies and quasars. This is a small (~ 5%) subset of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 6 Catalog Archive. The subset was generated by extracting all the data in a small region of the sky from the SDSS DR6 "best" dataset (BestDR6) which was released to the public on June 29, 2007.
The SDSS addresses fascinating, fundamental questions about the universe. With the survey, astronomers will be able to see the large-scale patterns of galaxies: sheets and voids through the whole universe. Scientists have many ideas about how the universe evolved, and different patterns of large-scale structure point to different theories. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey will tell us which theories are right - or whether we will have to come up with entirely new ideas.
The Sixth Data Release (DR6) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was announced on June 29, 2007. The spatial coverage of DR6 is about 7% larger than that of DR5. The photometric data in DR6 are based on five-band imaging observations of 8520 square degrees of sky, and include measures of 300 million unique objects.
Based on these photometric data, objects were selected for spectroscopy over a footprint area of 6860 square degrees. DR5 includes derived spectroscopic parameters for 1,163,520 spectra, classified into 792,680 galaxies, 154,925 stars and 104,140 quasars. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions (see below), the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web site is http://www.sdss.org/.
This subset of DR6 contains data in the spatial region bounded by Right Ascension (RA) between 180 and 215 degrees and declination between -5 and 15 degrees.
The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are: the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge (Cambridge University), Case Western Reserve University, the University of Chicago, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, the Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), the New Mexico State University, the Ohio State University, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
Further details of the Data Release 6 can be found at http://www.sdss.org/dr6/.