Dreams of sailing through the universe at light speed have sparked human imagination since we realized our Milky Way was only one of many galaxies, but this incredible animation by Johns Hopkins’ Miguel Aragon and Alex Szalay and Adler Planetarium’s Mark Subbarao will leave you awestruck at just how insignificant our little corner really is.
Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, you can now cruise past almost 400,000 of our galactic brethren, reaching about 1.2 billion light years away, but that’s only the beginning of what science has discovered.
Vast as this slice of the universe seems, its most distant reach is to redshift 0.1, corresponding to roughly 1.3 billion light years from Earth. SDSS Data Release 9 from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), led by Berkeley Lab scientists, includes spectroscopic data for well over half a million galaxies at redshifts up to 0.8 — roughly 7 billion light years distant — and over a hundred thousand quasars to redshift 3.0 and beyond.
Wow. Just wow.
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