Scientists for the first time measured the distance to galaxies more than six billion light years away accurate to 1%. The analysis was revealed on 9 January 2014.
This new map was created from the BOSS – Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey using Sloan Foundation Telescope. This survey is one of the four projects being carried out by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-111), at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico.
The analysis incorporates spectra of 1277503 galaxies and covers 8509 square degrees of the sky visible from the northern hemisphere. This is the largest sample of the universe ever surveyed at this density. Since 2009, BOSS has been collecting the data and will continue to gather till June 2014.
The BOSS map used baryon acoustic oscillations (BAOs) as a standard measurement of the distance between galaxies. A BAO is an imprint of pressure waves from the early universe suspended in the barren depths of intergalactic space.
Further, the phenomenon known as BAO is a subtle ripples in the distribution of galaxies throughout the Universe. These ripples were created during the formation of the early universe as particles of light (photons) and protons and neutrons (collectively known as baryons) created mammoth pressure waves pulsing through the cosmos.
The new results were presented by Schlegel and his team at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
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