Colossal sky map contains data on a billion galaxies

Scientists from different observatories and scientific centers combined the data obtained by the DESI astronomical instrument with several studies. They created a colossal map covering 20 thousand square degrees and containing 1 billion galaxies.

The galaxies that the new map depicts. Source: Р

Largest map of the Universe

A large group of scientists from the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory have completed a combination of several studies aimed at determining the positions and characteristics of galaxies in the sky. Researchers have created a huge map called the DESI Legacy Imaging Survey.

The map covers about 20 thousand square degrees, that is, about half of the sky.The map covers about 20 thousand square degrees, that is, about half of the sky. It shows about 1 billion galaxies scattered across the sky. This is only 1 percent of their total number in the part of the Universe that we can observe, but it’s still a lot.

You can view the map at this link. It is interactive, allows you to control the scale, brightness and contrast. And when you click on any of the billion objects depicted on it, a window opens with data collected by different telescopes.

How the map was drawn up

The basis for the creation of the map was the survey carried out by the DOE Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) dark matter camera. The scientists who work with it have already released the tenth data release. They were combined with data from the DECam dark energy camera and the Beijing-Arizona Sky Survey. Together they made it possible to obtain the first version of the map containing data on 14 thousand square degrees of the sky.

Then data from the 4-meter Mayall Telescope and a Bok 2.3-meter Telescope were connected to the work. Thanks to this, it was possible to expand the field of view to 20 thousand square degrees and add data on observations in the infrared range.

In total, it took 6 years of work of scientists from various scientific institutions of the Earth to make the current map. In addition, the most powerful supercomputers worked on data processing. The result of their work is now available to everyone.

At the same time, drawing up a new map is of great scientific importance. Using its data, scientists plan to identify 40 million galaxies that DESI will explore more deeply over the next 5 years. The purpose of this work will be a deeper study of the evolution of the Universe over the past 12 billion years and the distribution of dark matter in it.

According to Р

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