On Monday 10 December the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) celebrated its fifteenth public data release, DR15. This data release the spotlight was on the MaNGA survey (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory).
DR15 contains 4621 of the 10,000 galaxies that MaNGA will have observed by summer 2020. To keep up to date with all MaNGA news, you can follow this survey on twitter: @MaNGASurvey. Image credit: Dana Berry / SkyWorks Digital Inc., David Law, and the SDSS collaboration.
MaNGA observes nearby galaxies using a technique called Integral-Field Spectroscopy. This technique allows them to take many spectra all across the galaxy, and these spectra are then used to map the stars and gas in the galaxy. MaNGA can then find out how the stars and gas move around in the galaxy, and what kind of stellar populations (young? old? metal-rich? metal-poor?) are present in the galaxy. These maps help the MaNGA team understand how galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time. DR15 includes all these maps, that were produced by a special Data Analysis Pipeline, and with Marvin you can now explore these maps yourself!
Caption: snapshot of Marvin: the new tool to explore MaNGA galaxies. You ...