AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 192 Radio Astronomy Legacy Sky Surveys with the Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFA)
Special Session, Thursday, 10:00-11:30am, January 12, 2006, Delaware A

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[192.02] AGES, AUDS, ALFALFA, ZOA -- Surveying the Extragalactic Sky from A to Z.

R. F. Minchin (Arecibo Observatory), E-ALFA Consortium Collaboration

Arecibo Observatory is conducting four major surveys for extragalactic H\,{\sc i} with ALFA. Together, these will dramatically increase the number of known H\,{\sc i} sources and determine the H\,{\sc i} mass function across a variety of environments and redshifts, as well as mapping the local Universe and large scale structure in three dimensions.

ALFALFA is a relatively shallow, wide-angle survey covering over 7000 sq.\ deg.\ at b > 20\circ to a depth of ~ 2.5 mJy beam-1 channel-1 -- an order of magnitude deeper than HIPASS, and with better spatial and velocity resolution. It will probe the faint end of the local H\,{\sc i} mass function and deliver a catalog of ~20,000 galaxies and other neutral hydrogen sources out to z ~ 0.06.

AGES is a deeper survey that will concentrate on a number of small regions, covering 200 sq.\ deg.\ to five times ALFALFA's sensitivity. This is expected to find ~1000 sources and will sample the H\,{\sc i} mass function in different environments as well as detecting very low mass objects in nearby groups and clusters.

AUDS will cover 0.36 sq.\ deg.\ to 50 times ALFALFA's sensitivity in order to investigate the evolution of gas in galaxies to z = 0.1 -- 0.16 and to provide a link between H\,{\sc i} emission and absorption studies. Galaxies out to z ~0.14 have already been detected in a pilot study.

The ZOA survey will observe commensally with the galactic and pulsar surveys to search the region behind the Milky Way inaccessible in either the optical (absorption) or infrared (stellar confusion). This will turn many previously unknown sources, and reveal large scale structure behind the plane of the galaxy.

Taken as a whole, these surveys provide different and complementary ways of mapping extragalactic H\,{\sc i} and will dramatically increase our knowledge of the distribution and evolution of gas in the Universe.

Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rminchin@naic.edu

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