The Next generation virgo cluster survey


The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS) is an approved Large Programme for the Canada French Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). The NGVS will use 771 hours of CFHT time (approx. 140 nights), spread equally over the  2009A-2012A semesters, to image the Virgo Cluster - the dominant mass concentration in the local universe and the largest collection of galaxies within ≈35 Mpc - from its core to virial radius, in five filters (u,g,r,i,z), to unprecedented depths. 

The NGVS will be the state-of-the-art optical survey of a low-redshift cluster environment for years to come. It will also offer a wealth of synergistic opportunities with the many on-going and planned surveys of the Virgo Cluster at longer and shorter wavelengths. The purpose of this web-page is to initiate such opportunities by providing some basic information about the NGVS. As the survey progresses, this webpage will be expanded to include real time information about the data acquisition and processing.

The NGVS team comprises 45 members at Universities and research institutes across North America and  Europe.


August 2012: There currently is an opening for a postdoctoral position to work on NGVS data at the National Research Council in Victoria, BC (AAS job register number 42522). A more detailed job description can also be found here. For any questions about the job, please email.

The NGVS: A cfht legacy

Left: A north-western portion of the Virgo Cluster, showing two of its brightest early-type galaxies, M84 and M86. At ≈1.1°×0.6°, the image is 1/160th the area proposed to be mapped by the NGVS (credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF).

Top Right: A Hubble Space Telescope/ACS image of NGC 4526 (credit: ACSVCS team).

Bottom Left: M87, the galaxy at Virgo’s dynamical center, and its famous optical synchrotron jet, powered by a 3 billion solar masses black hole (credit: ACSVCS team).

Bottom Right: the 3.6 metre Canada French Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Click on the image to the left to see a flyby movie through the core of the Virgo cluster (32 MB) [Credit: CFHT, CEA, NRC/HIA, CADC and the NGVS Team].