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Astron. Astrophys. 325, 954-960

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The ESO Slice Project (ESP) galaxy redshift survey*

I. Description and first results

G. Vettolani1, E. Zucca2,1, G. Zamorani2,1, A. Cappi2, R. Merighi2, M. Mignoli2, G.M. Stirpe2, H. MacGillivray3, C. Collins4, C. Balkowski5, V. Cayatte5, S. Maurogordato5, D. Proust5, G. Chincarini6,7, L. Guzzo6, D. Maccagni8, R. Scaramella9, A. Blanchard10, and M. Ramella11

1Istituto di Radioastronomia del CNR, via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
2Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Zamboni 33, I-40126 Bologna, Italy
3Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
4School of EEEP, Liverpool John-Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
5Observatoire de Paris, DAEC, Unit'e associ'ee au CNRS, D0173 et à l'Universit'e Paris 7, 5 Place J.Janssen, F-92195 Meudon, France
6Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Bianchi 46, I-22055 Merate (LC), Italy
7Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 16, I-20133 Milano, Italy
8Istituto di Fisica Cosmica e Tecnologie Relative, via Bassini 15, I-20133 Milano, Italy
9Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Osservatorio 2, I-00040 Monteporzio Catone (RM), Italy
10Universit'e L. Pasteur, Observatoire Astronomique, 11 rue de l'Universit'e, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
11Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via Tiepolo 11, I-34131 Trieste, Italy

Received 3 December 1996 / Accepted 3 April 1997


The ESO Slice Project (ESP) is a galaxy redshift survey we have recently completed as an ESO Key-Project. The ESP covers 23.3 square degrees in a region close to the South Galactic Pole. The survey is nearly complete (85%) to the limiting magnitude FORMULA and consists of 3342 galaxies with reliable redshift determination.

In this paper, the first in a series that will present the results of the ESP survey, we describe the main characteristics of the survey and briefly discuss the properties of the galaxy sample. From a preliminary spectral analysis of a large sub-sample of 2550 galaxies we find that the fraction of actively star-forming galaxies increases from a few percent for the brightest galaxies up to about 40% for the galaxies fainter than M = -16.5 FORMULA .

The most outstanding feature in the ESP redshift distribution is a very significant peak at FORMULA . The detection of similar peaks, at the same distance, in other surveys in the same region of the sky, suggests the presence of a large bidimensional structure perpendicular to the line of sight. The minimum size of this structure would be of the order of FORMULA h-1 Mpc, comparable with the size of the Great Wall.

Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts - luminosity function; cosmology: observations - large-scale structure of the universe

*Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Send offprint requests to: Elena Zucca (zucca@astbo1.bo.cnr.it)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: September 9, 1997
Last change: April 28, 1998