AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 96 GALEX I: The Mission and Early Type Galaxies
Oral, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Centennial III

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[96.01] The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)

C. Martin (CalTech), GALEX Science Team

We give an overview of the status, early data, and results from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), a NASA Explorer Mission launched on April 28, with a nominal mission start of July 1. GALEX is performing the first space UV sky-survey, including imaging and grism surveys in two bands (1350-1800Åand 1800-2800Å). The surveys include an all-sky imaging survey (limit AB~20-21), a medium imaging survey of 1000 sq. deg (limit AB~23.5), a deep imaging survey of 100 square degrees (limit AB~25.5), and a nearby galaxy survey. Spectroscopic grism surveys (R=100-250) are underway with various depths and sky coverage. Many targets overlap existing or planned surveys, including SDSS, 2dF, DEEP, NOAO-DWS, LBG, VIRMOS, GOODS, SWIRE, SINGS, SIRTF-GTO, Chandra, and HST/ACS. We will use the measured UV properties of local galaxies, along with corollary observations, to calibrate the UV-global star formation rate relationship in local galaxies. We will apply this calibration to distant galaxies discovered in the deep imaging and spectroscopic surveys to map the history of star formation in the universe over the redshift range z=0-2, and probe the starburst history of galaxies. The GALEX mission will include a Guest Investigator program for dedicated observations and archival data analysis. This will support a wide variety of investigations made possible by the first UV sky survey. An early data release to support planning for GI proposals precedes this conference.

GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in April 2003. We gratefully acknowledge NASA's support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission.

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