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The Target-selection Pipeline for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

Myers, Adam D.; Moustakas, John; Bailey, Stephen; Weaver, Benjamin A.; Cooper, Andrew P.; Forero-Romero, Jaime E.; Abolfathi, Bela; Alexander, David M.; Brooks, David; Chaussidon, Edmond; Chuang, Chia-Hsun; Dawson, Kyle; Dey, Arjun; Dey, Biprateep; Dhungana, Govinda; Doel, Peter; Fanning, Kevin; Gaztañaga, Enrique; A Gontcho, Satya Gontcho; Gonzalez-Morales, Alma X.; Hahn, ChangHoon; Herrera-Alcantar, Hiram K.; Honscheid, Klaus; Ishak, Mustapha; Karim, Tanveer; Kirkby, David; Kisner, Theodore; Koposov, Sergey E.; Kremin, Anthony; Lan, Ting-Wen; Landriau, Martin; Lang, Dustin; Levi, Michael E.; Magneville, Christophe; Napolitano, Lucas; Martini, Paul; Meisner, Aaron; Newman, Jeffrey A.; Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie; Percival, Will; Poppett, Claire; Prada, Francisco; Raichoor, Anand; Ross, Ashley J.; Schlafly, Edward F.; Schlegel, David; Schubnell, Michael; Tan, Ting; Tarle, Gregory; Wilson, Michael J.; Yèche, Christophe; Zhou, Rongpu; Zhou, Zhimin; Zou, Hu

The Target-selection Pipeline for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Thumbnail


Adam D. Myers

John Moustakas

Stephen Bailey

Benjamin A. Weaver

Andrew P. Cooper

Jaime E. Forero-Romero

Bela Abolfathi

David Brooks

Edmond Chaussidon

Chia-Hsun Chuang

Kyle Dawson

Arjun Dey

Biprateep Dey

Govinda Dhungana

Peter Doel

Kevin Fanning

Enrique Gaztañaga

Satya Gontcho A Gontcho

Alma X. Gonzalez-Morales

ChangHoon Hahn

Hiram K. Herrera-Alcantar

Klaus Honscheid

Mustapha Ishak

Tanveer Karim

David Kirkby

Theodore Kisner

Sergey E. Koposov

Anthony Kremin

Ting-Wen Lan

Martin Landriau

Dustin Lang

Michael E. Levi

Christophe Magneville

Lucas Napolitano

Paul Martini

Aaron Meisner

Jeffrey A. Newman

Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille

Will Percival

Claire Poppett

Francisco Prada

Anand Raichoor

Ashley J. Ross

Edward F. Schlafly

David Schlegel

Michael Schubnell

Ting Tan

Gregory Tarle

Michael J. Wilson

Christophe Yèche

Rongpu Zhou

Zhimin Zhou

Hu Zou


In 2021 May, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) began a 5 yr survey of approximately 50 million total extragalactic and Galactic targets. The primary DESI dark-time targets are emission line galaxies, luminous red galaxies, and quasars. In bright time, DESI will focus on two surveys known as the Bright Galaxy Survey and the Milky Way Survey. DESI also observes a selection of "secondary" targets for bespoke science goals. This paper gives an overview of the publicly available pipeline (desitarget) used to process targets for DESI observations. Highlights include details of the different DESI survey targeting phases, the targeting ID (TARGETID) used to define unique targets, the bitmasks used to indicate a particular type of target, the data model and structure of DESI targeting files, and examples of how to access and use the desitarget code base. This paper will also describe "supporting" DESI target classes, such as standard stars, sky locations, and random catalogs that mimic the angular selection function of DESI targets. The DESI target-selection pipeline is complex and sizable; this paper attempts to summarize the most salient information required to understand and work with DESI targeting data.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2023
Journal The Astronomical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-6256
Electronic ISSN 1538-3881
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 165
Issue 2
Article Number 50
Public URL


Published Journal Article (1.3 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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