Astronomers have revealed the most comprehensive 3-D map of the local universe, to a distance of 380-million light years. The 2MASS Redshift Survey took 10 years to complete and is significant because its closer to the Galactic plane than previous surveys.
Karen Masters form University of Portsmouth, presented the new map at the 218th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. At the press conference she explained:
“A galaxy’s light is redshifted, or stretched to longer wavelengths, by the expansion of the universe. The farther the galaxy, the greater its redshift, so redshift measurements yield galaxy distances – the vital third dimension in a 3-D map.
…The 2MRS mapped in detail areas previously hidden behind our Milky Way to better understand the impact they have on our motion. The motion of the Milky Way with respect to the rest of the universe has been a puzzle ever since astronomers were first able to measure it and found it couldn’t be explained by the gravitational attraction from any visible matter.”
[credit provider=”Harvard-Smithsonian centre for Astrophysics” url=”http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/image_archive/2011/52/hires.jpg”]