We present the general real- and redshift-space clustering properties of galaxies as measured in the first data release of the VIPERS survey. VIPERS is a large redshift survey designed to probe in detail the distant Universe and its large-scale structure at 0.5 < z < 1.2. We describe in this analysis the global properties of the sample and discuss the survey completeness and associated corrections. This sample allows us to measure the galaxy clustering with an unprecedented accuracy at these redshifts. From the redshift-space distortions observed in the galaxy clustering pattern we provide a first measurement of the growth rate of structure at z = 0.8: fσ8 = 0.47 ± 0.08. This is completely consistent with the predictions of standard cosmological models based on Einstein gravity, although this measurement alone does not discriminate between different gravity models. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Cerro Paranal, Chile, using the Very Large Telescope under programmes 182.A-0886 and partly 070.A-9007. Also based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS. The VIPERS web site is http://www.vipers.inaf.it/
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