The Stripe 82 Massive Galaxy Project - II. Stellar Mass Completeness of Spectroscopic Galaxy Samples from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey


The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) has collected spectra for over one million galaxies at 0.15 < z < 0.7 over a volume of 15.3 Gpc3 (9376 deg2) -- providing us an opportunity to study the most massive galaxy populations with vanishing sample variance. However, BOSS samples are selected via complex colour cuts that are optimized for cosmology studies, not galaxy science. In this paper, we supplement BOSS samples with photometric redshifts from the Stripe 82 Massive Galaxy Catalog and measure the total galaxy stellar mass function (SMF) at z ~ 0.3 and z ~ 0.55. With the total SMF in hand, we characterize the stellar mass completeness of BOSS samples. The high-redshift CMASS (constant mass) sample is significantly impacted by mass incompleteness and is 80 per cent complete at log10(M*/M> 11.6 only in the narrow redshift range z = [0.51, 0.61]. The low-redshift LOWZ sample is 80 per cent complete at log10(M*/M) > 11.6 for z = [0.15, 0.43]. To construct mass complete samples at lower masses, spectroscopic samples need to be significantly supplemented by photometric redshifts. This work will enable future studies to better utilize the BOSS samples for galaxy-formation science.



Keywords and Phrases

Cosmology: observations; Galaxies: abundances; Galaxies: evolution; Galaxies: stellar content

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0035-8711; 1365-2966

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2016 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2016