Astronomical map shows 1.2 million galaxies in about a quarter of the sky

The image you see here with all the purple, red, yellow, and orange blobs is an astronomical map and at first glance, you might think that it is showing stars. It's not showing stars, what it is showing are all the galaxies out there hiding in the nighttime sky. The galaxies in this image and it represent about 650 cubic billion light-years of space.

To say it shows a massive chunk of the sky would be an understatement. To blow your mind a bit more, this map represents only about a quarter of the sky. The image required hundreds of scientists working together to make and the scientists worked as part of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey known as BOSS. BOSS is a program inside the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III that measures sound waves from the early universe that left background imprints on cosmic background radiation.

BOSS uses the imprint left from the Big Bang on the distribution of galaxies to map the positions and distances of galaxies through time. Other than being something truly impressive to look at, the image here is one of the most precise measurements of the expansion of the universe ever made. Scientists also say that the image and data behind it confirms a leading explanation for the dark energy physicists think is behind the expansion of the universe.

Physicists believe that this dark energy is punching expansion of the universe at a faster and faster rate, something that the data used in the BOSS survey had to factor in, confirming this model. The dots in the image represent the position of a galaxy as far as six billion years in the past. There are 48,741 galaxies in the image, representing about 3% of the total BOSS survey set. Purple dots represent galaxies furthest from the Earth with yellow being the closest. The grey areas are where data doesn't exist.

SOURCE:" target="_blank">SDSS