Astronomers have created a map that marks the positions and colors of 200,000 galaxies that stretch from our galaxy to the very edge of the visible universe.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, have presented a new map of the visible universe, which shows 200,000 galaxies that rub from the Milky Way to the edge of space, which can be called the edge of the observable universe. To do this, they used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project, in which the telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, USA has been observing space for more than 20 years, writes New Atlas.
The telescope has been observing different parts of space since 2000 so that scientists can create the most complete maps of the observable universe. In particular, he helped create a map of 4 million stars in the Milky Way, the placement of galaxies that are close to us, as well as galaxies that are billions of light years away from us.
But the new map is a kind of wedge with the most accurate visualization of a couple of hundred thousand galaxies that are located in space from the Milky Way to the edge of space, which can be called the edge of the observable universe. If it were possible to put a dot that would indicate “you are here”, then it would be placed at the sharp end of this wedge, which looks like a slice of pizza.
The angle of this wedge is 10 degrees, and it is only a part of a huge circle around our galaxy, which in turn is only a part of the unimaginably vast expanse of the observable Universe. The wedge extends 13.7 billion light-years from its starting point, scientists say.
On the new map you can see 200,000 very small dots, each of which is a galaxy with billions of stars, planets and other space objects. All dots are colored in different colors, not so much to decorate the image, but to show the features of each galaxy.
- Starting from the lower edge of the wedge, the blue dots represent spiral galaxies that are within 2 billion light-years of us;
- Next are the yellow dots, which represent elliptical galaxies, which are much brighter;
- The huge red section of the map also shows elliptical galaxies, which are already at a distance of 4 to 8 billion light years from us;
- The next blue section of the map shows quasars, which are galaxies with very active supermassive black holes at their centers;
- Closer to the very edge of the map, where red dots are visible, quasars are also depicted, because they are the only ones that are visible at such a great distance;
- Then comes about 1 billion light-years of complete darkness, and we reach a line that shows a kind of boundary of the visible universe. This line is an image of the light that was left after the Big Bang – the cosmic microwave background radiation.
According to scientists, there is a continuation of the Universe beyond this edge, but we cannot see it yet. According to Bris Menard of Johns Hopkins University, the authors wanted to create a beautiful and accessible map of the visible universe for ordinary people to understand.