The TolTEC Public Legacy Surveys

With TolTEC we will offer unique and transformative imaging of the sky at millimeter wavelengths to the astronomical community through a series of TolTEC Legacy Surveys that will result in publicly and freely available data sets.

The Survey Definition Working Groups (WGs) have been analyzing how to optimize the allocation time for each of the surveys in the most optimal way. After more than a year of teleconferences and face-to-face meetings that coordinated about 200 scientists, the WGs submitted the agreement plans to the Science Governing Board and these were endorsed on the 7th of February, 2020. All surveys have an allocated time of 100 hrs each.

We anticipate that data collection will begin in late 2022 for our four initial legacy surveys, with an initial imaging data release in late 2023. Our goal is to produce science-ready data products that have been vetted by our core team as quickly as possible following the observations. Given the significant delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have a big head start on the data reduction tools and so we feel we can turn around processed maps quickly.

We have identified four general science areas where we will focus the initial four surveys.

  • The Clouds-to-Cores Legacy Survey explores the collapse of giant molecular clouds into star-forming cores and addresses the questions: What is the origin of the Core Mass Function (CMF) and what is its relationship to the stellar IMF?
  • The Fields in Filaments Legacy Survey is designed to probe the distribution of magnetic fields in filaments as traced by the polarization of dust. This survey will address the question: What is the role of magnetic fields in shaping filaments and cores?
  • The Ultra-Deep Survey of Star-forming Galaxies is a confusion-limited survey which ties the entire Luminous Infrared Galaxy population from redshifts 2 to 10 directly to their optical counterparts and addresses the question: How do massive galaxies build up metals and stellar mass over cosmic time?
  • The Large Scale Structure Survey probes the relationships between the spatial distribution of star forming galaxies and large scale structure and provides a detailed view of clusters and their substructure via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect.

Sign up for our email lists to receive meeting announcements and get news about each of the surveys.