Massive online sky survey completed

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    Astronomers have completed the most thorough high-resolution digital survey of the heavens and released its 5 million images on the Internet.
    The map of the sky took four years of observations and $40 million to complete. It contains an estimated 500 million celestial objects, mostly stars but also galaxies, asteroids and comets.
    "The public will 'ooh and aah' at the pictures, while scientists will mine the data for decades," Michael Skrutskie, principal investigator for the project, said Thursday.
    The project's twin telescopes, located in Arizona and Chile, mapped the sky in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared wavelengths are longer than the red light visible to human eyes.
    Infrared radiation -- heat -- pierces the dust and gas that shrouds much of the universe from view, allowing the telescopes to see objects that would otherwise be invisible to view.
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst led the Two Micron All-Sky Survey. NASA and the National Science Foundation funded the project.
  2. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    i've always been interested in this kind of thing. this project looks like it was pretty impressive.
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001

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