University astronomers unveil map of universe

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LEADING world astronomers, including 10 from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth, have this week released a new public online dataset which almost doubles the size of the largest 3D map of the Universe.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) released a new online public data set featuring 356,477 new massive galaxies and 73,297 new distant black holes which are helping to reveal the secrets of dark matter and dark energy in the Universe.

Also included is a new set observations of stars in our Galaxy — using infrared light, invisible to human eyes but able to penetrate the veil of dust that obscures the centre of the Galaxy.

This data release is the 10th in a series of releases from SDSS stretching back to 2001.

Professor Bob Nichol, of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘Dark matter and dark energy are two of the greatest mysteries of our time. We’re confident this new map will guide us in solving these mysteries.’