New results from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

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From the second press conference at the AAS meeting today, results from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has been surveying the sky in incredible detail over the past eleven years:

  • The largest digital color image of the heavens, covering one third of the sky, imaging a half a billion stars and galaxies. Despite looking the sky in wide-field view, the data also has incredible close-up detail. This has and will continue to provide astronomers a precise baseline reference for future research.
  • A 3D reconstruction of the local galactic neighborhood, showing the three dimensional position of the visible galaxies within a billion light years. They plan to use the new Sloan color image above to further extend this 3D reconstruction out to seven billion light years.
  • The largest map of the Milky Way’s outer regions, showing the streams of stars captured from other galaxies, absorbed in the past galactic mergers that formed the Milky Way.

All this data will be available for anyone to dig around in.


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