Yesterday astronomers unveiled the largest ever 3D map of the sky. So what’s so cool about this 3D visualisation videos? Well for starters you can see all the massive galaxies and black holes, and because its in 3D it looks even better.
The data is based on Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) which uses a dedicated 2.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observator in New Mexico.
This telescope is equipped with two powerful special-purpose instruments: These include:
* A 120-megapixel camera that imaged 1.5 square degrees of the sky at a time, (This is about eight times the area of the full moon).
* A pair of spectrographs fed by optical fibers that measured spectra of (and hence distances to) more than 600 galaxies and quasars in a single observation.
*A custom-designed set of software pipelines kept pace with the enormous data flow from the telescope.
The Data release is official called the Ninth SDSS Data Release or simply “Data Release 9″. The release includes images of 200 million galaxies and spectra of 1.35 million galaxies.
For those who have a good understanding of astronomy you can view the entire galaxy from this set by clicking here.