The LeMMINGs Project

In order to address the key questions regarding SF and accretion in the local universe, the LeMMINGs legacy programme will survey the radio emission from a large, unbiased and complete sample of more than 280 nearby galaxies. This project will consist two of closely related samples: a moderately deep snapshot survey of an unbiased sample of 280 galaxies selected from the Palomar Bright Galaxies Survey (Ho et al 1997), and an extremely deep survey of a nearby sub-set of 6 galaxies selected from the statistical sample to encompass the entire range of luminosities, scales and galaxy-types. The size of this sample follows the diversity of galaxy properties; it is large enough to provide statistically reality even though reality requires it cannot be statistically complete. The deeper sub-sample has been specifically selected to have particularly superb ancillary data available across all wavebands, and in particular these targets have been selected to have Spitzer (SINGS) and Herschel (KINGFISH) coverage plus X-ray (Chandra and XMM), molecular CO (IRAM HERA), HI (VLA THINGS), UV (GALEX NGS) data along with proposed EVLA continuum (KINGFISH follow-up) and extensive optical coverage.

We will observe all of the sample for at least 48 minutes in both L and C bands to provide a large, and statistically complete, sample covering a range of optical properties, to a low radio flux limit. However to study the very lowest surface brightness SF regions, and the very lowest luminosity AGN, we will observe a subset of our sample for 6 hours at both L and C band which will providing both superb uv coverage and high sensitivity.

These two sets of observations are highly complementary. The larger statistical sample will mainly probe the nuclear AGN and higher surface brightness starburst regions over all galaxy types, with large enough numbers that we can determine the way in which AGN and SF emission varies with galaxy type, and how the two emission processes interact. The deep sample will also sample a range of galaxy types in an unbiased, although not quite statistically complete, manner, allowing for a much more detailed study of, e.g. starburst and low luminosity AGN jet emission. Thus it will be possible to study the physics of the interaction between AGN emission and SF in much greater detail with the deep sample.