We present a spectroscopic survey of almost 15 000 candidate intermediate-redshift luminous red galaxies (LRGs) brighter than i = 19.8, observed with 2dF on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The targets were selected photometrically from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and lie along two narrow equatorial strips covering 180 deg2. Reliable redshifts were obtained for 92 per cent of the targets and the selection is very efficient: over 90 per cent have 0.45 < z < 0.8. More than 80 per cent of the ∼11000 red galaxies have pure absorption-line spectra consistent with a passively evolving old stellar population. The redshift, photometric and spatial distributions of the LRGs are described. The 2SLAQ data will be released publicly from mid-2006, providing a powerful resource for observational cosmology and the study of galaxy evolution.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 372, no. 1 (Oct 2006), pp. 425-442