Local Volume Mapper

The Local Volume Mapper (LVM) is an integral-field spectroscopic survey, targeting the Milky Way, Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, M31, and other Local Volume galaxies. LVM will make use of newly built spectrographs that will cover a large wavelength range of 3600 – 10000 Å, with spectral resolution R ~ 4000. It will collect more than 25 million contiguous spectra over 3,000 square degrees of sky. LVM will make most of its observations using newly acquired smaller telescopes (0.16 – 1m), that will be located at Apache Point and Las Campanas Observatories.

Science Goals

Galaxy formation can be seen as a self-regulating process, with energy exchange between stars and interstellar gas occurring at numerous points, both spatially and temporary. LVM will spectroscopically map the global interstellar medium of the Milky Way and Local Group galaxies, with unprecedented spatial resolution: reaching 0.1-1 pc resolution in the Milky Way, 10 pc resolution in the Magellanic Clouds, up to 20 – 100 pc resolution out to distances at 5 Mpc. This makes the LVM uniquely positioned to study the star formation and physics of the interstellar medium in great detail, being able to distinguish individual star formation knots and the filamentary structures and shock networks between them. LVM will be able to connect studies across the parsec (sub Giant Molecular Cloud) and kilo-parsec (galaxy-wide) scales, which is fundamental to understand the physics governing star formation, the structure of the interstellar medium, the baryon cycle, and ultimately, the evolution of galaxies.

More details on the Local Volume Mapper and an extended description of its science goals can be found in the SDSS-V White Paper SDSS-V: Pioneering Panoptic Spectroscopy.


Local Volume Mapper footprint and sampling, showing in the centre the Milky Way (blue) on top of the <a href="/future/mwm/">Milky Way Mapper</a> target density map. Zooming into the Orion region (lower right), APOGEE targets are overlaid in yellow. Other bottom panels show the Large Magellanic Cloud (including the 30 Doradus star forming region), while the top panel shows the LVM IFU field-of-view on M31. A statistical sample of H II  regions is shown in green, and will be observed at 20 pc resolution across M31, and at ~ 50 pc resolution across other nearby galaxies, connecting small scale physics and large scale galaxy evolution.
Local Volume Mapper footprint and sampling, showing in the centre the Milky Way (blue) on top of the Milky Way Mapper target density map. Zooming into the Orion region (lower right), APOGEE targets are overlaid in yellow. Other bottom panels show the Large Magellanic Cloud (including the 30 Doradus star forming region), while the top panel shows the LVM IFU field-of-view on M31. A statistical sample of H II regions is shown in green, and will be observed at 20 pc resolution across M31, and at ~ 50 pc resolution across other nearby galaxies, connecting small scale physics and large scale galaxy evolution.

Contact information

For more information, contact the SDSS-V Program Head for the Local Volume Mapper, Niv Drory (University of Texas at Austin), drory@astro.as.utexas.edu.