The SDSS-IV MaNGA Sample: Design, Optimization, and Usage Considerations

David A. Wake, Kevin Bundy, Aleksandar M. Diamond-Stanic, Renbin Yan, Michael R. Blanton, Matthew A. Bershady, José R. Sánchez-Gallego, Niv Drory, Amy Jones, Guinevere Kauffmann, David R. Law, Cheng Li, Nicholas MacDonald, Karen Masters, Daniel Thomas, Jeremy Tinker, Anne Marie Weijmans, Joel R. Brownstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


We describe the sample design for the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey and present the final properties of the main samples along with important considerations for using these samples for science. Our target selection criteria were developed while simultaneously optimizing the size distribution of the MaNGA integral field units (IFUs), the IFU allocation strategy, and the target density to produce a survey defined in terms of maximizing signal-to-noise ratio, spatial resolution, and sample size. Our selection strategy makes use of redshift limits that only depend on i-band absolute magnitude (M i), or, for a small subset of our sample, M i and color (NUV - i). Such a strategy ensures that all galaxies span the same range in angular size irrespective of luminosity and are therefore covered evenly by the adopted range of IFU sizes. We define three samples: the Primary and Secondary samples are selected to have a flat number density with respect to M i and are targeted to have spectroscopic coverage to 1.5 and 2.5 effective radii (R e), respectively. The Color-Enhanced supplement increases the number of galaxies in the low-density regions of color-magnitude space by extending the redshift limits of the Primary sample in the appropriate color bins. The samples cover the stellar mass range and are sampled at median physical resolutions of 1.37 and 2.5 kpc for the Primary and Secondary samples, respectively. We provide weights that will statistically correct for our luminosity and color-dependent selection function and IFU allocation strategy, thus correcting the observed sample to a volume-limited sample.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.W. acknowledges support of a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship.

Funding Information:
This research was made possible through the use of the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS), funded by the Robert Martin Ayers Sciences Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: general
  • galaxies: statistics
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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