Travel across the history of the Universe with this 3D map

Posted by Leila Stein on 23 July 2020

You may not be able to travel the world but you can travel through the history of the Universe with the largest-ever 3D map created.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released the map which fills in the gaps in our Universe’s history, 11 billion years of expansion to be exact.

“We know both the ancient history of the Universe and its recent expansion history fairly well, but there’s a troublesome gap in the middle 11 billion years,” said cosmologist Kyle Dawson of the University of Utah, who leads the team in a statement.

“For five years, we have worked to fill in that gap, and we are using that information to provide some of the most substantial advances in cosmology in the last decade.”

Astrophysicist have known what the Universe looked like in its infancy and what its expansion history has been over the last few billion years but in between these two times, there has always been a gap.

Thanks to this new data generated by the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), scientists have the clearest picture of the Universe’s history ever. The survey was an international collaboration of more than 100 astrophysicists and the results are measurements of two million galaxies and quasars covering the 11 billion years of cosmic time.

“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 Will Percival of the University of Waterloo, eBOSS’s Survey Scientist. “These studies allow us to connect all these measurements into a complete story of the expansion of the Universe.”

Take a look at the video of their results:

Image Credit: SDSS/Screenshot

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