"Lighthouses in the Sky" Yield Biggest-Ever 3-D Map of the Cosmos
A schematic view of the new SDSS three-dimensional map, which includes regular galaxies (black points) and luminous red galaxies (red points) and extends 5.6 billion light-years, 40 percent of the distance to the edge of the visible universe.
The SDSS 2.5 meter telescope at Apache Point, New Mexico was used to create the new map of the universe.
A team of astronomers led by Nikhil Padmanabhan and David Schlegel has published the largest three-dimensional map of the universe ever constructed, a wedge-shaped slice of the cosmos that spans a tenth of the northern sky, encompasses 600,000 uniquely luminous red galaxies, and extends 5.6 billion light-years deep into space, equivalent to 40 percent of the way back in time to the Big Bang.
Schlegel is a Divisional Fellow in the Physics Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Padmanabhan will join the Labs Physics Division as a Chamberlain Fellow and Hubble Fellow in September; presently he is at Princeton University. They and their coauthors are members of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and have previously produced smaller 3-D maps by using the SDSS telescope in New Mexico to painstakingly collect the spectra of individual galaxies and calculate their distances by measuring their redshifts.
Paul Preuss | EurekAlert!
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