University helps make map of the Milky Way

From left, Paul Stanley, Jo Crisp, George Heasman, Mercedes Bevan, Luke Galea and Bethany Bevan from Highbury College

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THE largest ever three-dimensional map of galaxies and black holes has been released by astronomers.

A team from the University of Portsmouth helped create the map in an international project mapping the Milky Way.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) will help explain the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that they know makes up 96 per cent of the universe.

Dr Daniel Thomas, of the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG), said: ‘Dark matter and dark energy are two of the greatest mysteries of our time and we are constantly seeking new information to explain the phenomena.

‘It will also help astronomers to better understand both the distant universe and also the earth’s own cosmic backyard, the Milky Way.

‘The best part of making this data available online is knowing that anyone on the internet can now access the same data and search tools that professional astronomers use to make exciting discoveries about our universe.’