The GALAH survey

observational overview and Gaia DR1 companion

S. L. Martell, S. Sharma, S. Buder, L. Duong, K. J. Schlesinger, J. Simpson, K. Lind, M. Ness, J. P. Marshall, M. Asplund, J. Bland-Hawthorn, A. R. Casey, G. De Silva, K. C. Freeman, J. Kos, J. Lin, D. B. Zucker, T. Zwitter, B. Anguiano, C. Bacigalupo & 14 others D. Carollo, L. Casagrande, G. S. Da Costa, J. Horner, D. Huber, E. A. Hyde, P. R. Kafle, G. F. Lewis, D. Nataf, C. A. Navin, D. Stello, C. G. Tinney, F. G. Watson, R. Wittenmyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The Galactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey is amassive observational project to trace the MilkyWay's history of star formation, chemical enrichment, stellar migration and minor mergers. Using high-resolution (R ≃ 28 000) spectra, taken with the High Efficiency and Resolution Multi-Element Spectrograph (HERMES) instrument at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, GALAH will determine stellar parameters and abundances of up to 29 elements for up to one million stars. Selecting targets from a colour-unbiased catalogue built from 2MASS, APASS and UCAC4 data, we expect to observe dwarfs at 0.3-3 kpc and giants at 1-10 kpc. This enables a thorough local chemical inventory of the Galactic thin and thick discs, and also captures smaller samples of the bulge and halo. In this paper, we present the plan, process and progress as of early 2016 for GALAH survey observations. In our first two years of survey observing we have accumulated the largest high-quality spectroscopic data set at this resolution, over 200 000 stars. We also present the first public GALAH data catalogue: stellar parameters (Teff, log(g), [Fe/H], [α/Fe]), radial velocity, distance modulus and reddening for 10 680 observations of 9860 Tycho-2 stars, 7894 of which are included in the first Gaia data release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3203-3219
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 the Authors. First published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 465(3), pp.3203-3219. The original publication is available at, published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • stars: abundances
  • Galaxy: disc
  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Galaxy: formation
  • Galaxy: stellar content

Cite this

Martell, S. L., Sharma, S., Buder, S., Duong, L., Schlesinger, K. J., Simpson, J., ... Wittenmyer, R. (2017). The GALAH survey: observational overview and Gaia DR1 companion. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 465(3), 3203-3219.