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Quasars, Primeval Sound Waves Help Astronomers Make Largest Map Of The Universe Yet

19 May 2017, 19:29 UTC
Quasars, Primeval Sound Waves Help Astronomers Make Largest Map Of The Universe Yet
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A slice through largest-ever three-dimensional map of the Universe. Earth is at the left, and distances to galaxies and quasars are labeled by the lookback time to the objects. Lookback time means how long the light from an object has been traveling to reach us here on Earth. The locations of quasars are shown by the red dots, and nearer galaxies in yellow. The right-hand edge of the map is the limit of the observable universe, from which we see the light left over from the Big Bang called the Cosmic Background Radiation. Most of the empty space between the quasars and the edge of the observable universe are from the “dark ages”, prior to the formation of most stars, galaxies, or quasars. Credit: Anand Raichoor and the SDSS collaboration
Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have created the first map of the large-scale structure of the universe based entirely on the positions of quasars. A quasar, certainly one of the coolest words in the astronomical lexicon, looks like an incredibly bright point of light in the center of a remote galaxy. Often, the galaxy itself is invisible because it’s so far away, but quasars are powered by ...

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