SDSS Releases the Largest-Ever 3-D Map of the Universe

August 10, 2012 Paul M. Davis

While the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity has understandably monopolized the science headlines this week, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS) released an immense amount of data that is no less breathtaking. The international consortium of research institutions states that it constitutes the largest-ever map of the universe.

The map contains over 200 million galaxies and spectra data, a estimation of distance based on light emitted by the galaxy, for 1.35 million of the galaxies. The above video stunningly illustrates the data, offering a guided tour through the universe in less than two minutes. The SSRI’s ninth public release of its research will also give data-parched scientists and hackers plenty to dive into, a massive catalog of 932,891,133 objects comprised of galaxy, quasar, and star spectra data.

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