- A 3-D map of our cosmic neighborhood was more than a decade in the making and includes 95 percent of the sky.
- The survey should reveal what is tugging on the Milky Way and its immediate neighbor galaxies.
The most detailed, three-dimensional map of our corner of the universe, a survey more than a decade in the making that covers 95 percent of the galaxies out to a distance of about 380 million light years from Earth, has been unveiled.
"This is pretty much the best sky coverage you're ever going to hope to get for a galaxy survey," astronomer Karen Masters, with the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, said Wednesday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston.
The infrared survey features about 45,000 galaxies, including those residing in the 20 percent of the sky that can't be seen in visual light because they are blocked by gas and stars.
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"In the infrared, we're less affected by the gunk in the Milky Way," Masters said.
The only incomplete section of the map is what's behind the Milky Way's core, an area so jammed with stars "there's no hope of seeing behind it," Masters said.