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Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Science |

Launch the largest 3D map of the Universe (so far)

Launch the largest 3D map of the Universe (so far)

(CC) SDSS 3. http://www.sdss3.org/images/orangespider.jpg

Astronomers for the international Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), launched the first public release of data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Inspection , BOSS (acronym of Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey), which means that it is available more elaborate three-dimensional map of the to date.

The spectra provides cartographic map 535,995 galaxies, 102,100 quasars and 116,474 stars. “This is just the first release of BOSS data,” said David Schlegel, one of the leading scientists of BOSS. “For when completed, we will have recorded much of the sky at a distance twice as deep and a volume five times greater than the SDSS previously registered, an amount greater than all previous spectroscopic records combined. “

This release records galaxies whose redshift is 0.8, or about 7 billion light years away, and quasars with redshifts between 2.1 and 3.5 (between 10 and 11.5 billion light-years) . When BOSS finalize its work is to have a record of one and half million galaxies and quasars at least 150,000.

The map consists of about seven million images at 2.8 megapixels, creating an image composed of more than a billion pixels, or about 500,000 would be needed to view HDTV at full resolution.

There is an extensive tutorial to learn how to use the map . For example, to find the galaxy NGC 604 which William Herschel discovered in 1784, one enters 23.63833 degrees in right ascension (ra) and 30,785 degrees in declination (dec).

Link: First Boss Data: 3-D Map of Galaxies 500.000, 100.000 Quasars (Science Daily)

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