The Sixth Data Release of the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). I. Survey Description, Spectra, and Radial Velocities

The Rave collaboration, Matthias Steinmetz*, Gal Matijevič, Harry Enke, Tomaž Zwitter, Guillaume Guiglion, Paul J. McMillan, Georges Kordopatis, Marica Valentini, Cristina Chiappini, Luca Casagrande, Jennifer Wojno, Borja Anguiano, Olivier Bienaymé, Albert Bijaoui, James Binney, Donna Burton, Paul Cass, Patrick De Laverny, Kristin FiegertKenneth Freeman, Jon P. Fulbright, Brad K. Gibson, Gerard Gilmore, Eva K. Grebel, Amina Helmi, Andrea Kunder, Ulisse Munari, Julio F. Navarro, Quentin Parker, Gregory R. Ruchti, Alejandra Recio-Blanco, Warren Reid, George M. Seabroke, Alessandro Siviero, Arnaud Siebert, Milorad Stupar, Fred Watson, Mary E. K. Williams, Rosemary F. G. Wyse, Friedrich Anders, Teresa Antoja, Danijela Birko, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Diego Bossini, Rafael A. García, Ismael Carrillo, William J. Chaplin, Yvonne Elsworth, Benoit Famaey, Ortwin Gerhard, Paula Jofre, Andreas Just, Savita Mathur, Andrea Miglio, Ivan Minchev, Giacomo Monari, Benoit Mosser, Andreas Ritter, Thaise S. Rodrigues, Ralf Dieter Scholz, Sanjib Sharma, Kseniia Sysoliatina

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The Radial Velocity Experiment (Rave) is a magnitude-limited (9 < I < 12) spectroscopic survey of Galactic stars randomly selected in Earth's southern hemisphere. The Rave medium-resolution spectra (R ∼ 7500) cover the Ca-triplet region (8410-8795 Å). The sixth and final data release (DR6) is based on 518,387 observations of 451,783 unique stars. Rave observations were taken between 2003 April 12 and 2013 April 4. Here we present the genesis, setup, and data reduction of Rave as well as wavelength-calibrated and flux-normalized spectra and error spectra for all observations in Rave DR6. Furthermore, we present derived spectral classification and radial velocities for the Rave targets, complemented by cross-matches with Gaia DR2 and other relevant catalogs. A comparison between internal error estimates, variances derived from stars with more than one observing epoch, and a comparison with radial velocities of Gaia DR2 reveals consistently that 68% of the objects have a velocity accuracy better than 1.4 km s-1, while 95% of the objects have radial velocities better than 4.0 km s-1. Stellar atmospheric parameters, abundances and distances are presented in a subsequent publication. The data can be accessed via the Rave website ( or the Vizier database.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number82
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2020. The American Astronomical Society. First published in The Astronomical Journal, 160(2), 82, 2020. The original publication is available at, published by IOP Publishing. 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.


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