A map created by Johns Hopkins University astronomers contains data extracted over two decades from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey The interactive map allows the public to see data that was only accessible to scientists.
It depicts the true position and true colors of 200.000 galaxies, and is available online for free download.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is a pioneering effort to image the night sky through a telescope based in New Mexico. Night after night for years, the telescope aimed at slightly different locations to capture this unusually wide perspective.
The map, put together with the help of former Johns Hopkins student Nikita Shtarkman, depicts a slice of the universe, or about 200.000 galaxies. Each dot on the map is a galaxy, and each galaxy contains billions of stars and planets.
The expansion of the universe helps make this map colorful. The further away an object is, the redder it appears. The top of the map reveals the first burst of radiation emitted just after the Big Bang, 13,7 billion years ago.
“On this map, we're just a dot at the bottom, just a pixel. And when I say we, I mean our galaxy, our Milky Way that has billions of stars and planets.” he says Brice Ménard map creator and professor at Johns Hopkins.
“We're used to seeing astronomical images that show a galaxy here, a galaxy there, or maybe a group of galaxies. What this map shows is on a very, very different scale.”
For those interested, Johns Hopkins University has published one map video on YouTube.