Overview of the DESI Milky Way Survey

DESI Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We describe the Milky Way Survey (MWS) that will be undertaken with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) on the Mayall 4m Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. Over the next 5 years DESI MWS will observe approximately 7 million stars at Galactic latitudes |b|>20 deg, with an inclusive target selection scheme focused on the thick disk and stellar halo. MWS will also include several high-completeness samples of rare stellar types, including white dwarfs, low-mass stars within 100pc of the Sun, and horizontal branch stars. We summarize the potential of DESI to advance understanding of Galactic structure and stellar evolution. We introduce the final definitions of the main MWS target classes and estimate the number of stars in each class that will be observed. We describe our pipelines to derive radial velocities, atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances. We use ~500,000 spectra of unique stellar targets from the DESI Survey Validation program (SV) to demonstrate that our pipelines can measure radial velocities to approximately 1 km/s and [Fe/H] accurate to approximately 0.2 dex for typical stars in our main sample. We find stellar parameter distributions from 100 sq. deg. of SV observations with >90% completeness on our main sample are in good agreement with expectations from mock catalogues and previous surveys.
Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO


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