British astronomers complete largest-ever map of local universe

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, May 26, 2011 15:37 EDT
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British astronomers announced Wednesday they had completed the largest-ever map of the local universe using a type of lens and filter that sees light differently than conventional telescopes.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth called the image, formally titled the 2MASS Redshift Survey, one of their greatest accomplishments yet, noting that it took over 10 years to create.

The map shows every visible star, planet and neighboring galaxy extending out for 380 million light years, astronomers said.

The survey was completed with the help of space observatories in Arizona and Chile that scanned the sky for near-infrared light, which is easier to detect through cosmic dust clouds.

The full 2MASS Redshift Survey appears below.

To see a higher-quality version, click here.

(H/T: Space.com)

Image credit: Flickr commons.

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to state the true size of the map. An earlier version erroneously said it showed 450 light years.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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