Astrophysicists revealed a new 3D map of our known universe this week, filling a gap of 11 billion years of history. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released this map on July 20, 2020, as a comprehensive analysis of what’s now the largest 3D map of the Universe ever constructed. This map was created over the last half-decade by the SDSS team, itself the combined effort of more than 20 years of mapping our Universe with the Sloan Foundation telescope.
The map is a combination of SDSS mapping projects and projections and results from BOSS and the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS). With eBOSS, SDSS “precisely measures the expansion history of the Universe throughout eighty precent of cosmic history.”
The eBOSS 3D map of the universe is the subject here, and on July 20, 2020, the final measurements, a series of complimentary studies, and the cosmological interpretation were made public.
Above you’ll see a video showing the legacy of SDSS. Below you’ll see a video showing everything you’ll need to know about the eBOSS program.
Finally, and most likely most importantly since it’s the reason you’re here in the first place, there’s a simple visualization of the data.
If you’re looking at this article on a smartphone, open the following video in the YouTube app. With the YouTube app, you should be able to visualize this presentation in 360 degrees (or spherical vision, if you’ve got a 3D headset of sorts).
“Taken together, detailed analyses of the eBOSS map and the earlier SDSS experiments have now provided the most accurate expansion history measurements over the widest-ever range of cosmic time,” said eBOSS’s Survey Scientist Will Percival of the University of Waterloo. “These studies allow us to connect all these measurements into a complete story of the expansion of the Universe.”
SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS Collaboration.
Contacts for this project include Will Percival, eBOSS Survey Scientist, University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute, Kyle Dawson, eBOSS Principal Investigator, University of Utah, Eva-Maria Mueller, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford. Also Karen Masters, SDSS Scientific Spokesperson, Haverford College, and Jordan Raddick, SDSS Public Information Officer, Johns Hopkins University.