Astronomers chart most accurate map of galaxies in our region of universe

April 3rd, 2009 - 1:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, April 3 (ANI): An international team of astronomers has completed the most accurate map of hundreds of thousands of galaxies in our region of the universe.

According to a report by ABC News, the map, charted by Australian, British and American astronomers at the Anglo Australian Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales, shows where galaxies are, in respect to each other, and to our own.

“Because of course we are looking into space, space is three dimensional and so really to look at this or we look at this map in a computer, we have to fly through the space between the galaxies, so we have to think of it as three dimensional space rather than a 2D roadmap,” said Dr Heath Jones from the Anglo Australian Observatory.

Previously, much astronomical energy was spent trying to find the most far out objects in the universe.

In this project, astronomers looked a little closer home. According to Jones, they looked at the nearest 100,000 galaxies or so.

“The galaxies just aren’t uniform. They are scattered throughout the universe,” he said.

“What we find is that they tend to clump and cluster together. So, you’ll get galaxies clustering along nice delicate filamentary chains,” he added.

“You get some galaxies that will congregate in their clusters and you will get clusters of galaxies collecting in super clusters of galaxies, so the universe that we see is really quite structured,” he further added.

According to Dr Jones, the galactic neighbourhood census also confirmed the theory that the universe will keep on expanding rather than eventually collapse under its own gravity.

“One of the things you see with this survey is the galaxies are all getting further apart from each other and that is the well known expansion of the universe,” he said.

“But, in particular with this survey, we are able to analyse the very individual motions of the galaxies on top of that - what we call the peculiar motions of the galaxies,” he explained.

“That is one of the strengths of this survey. We are able to look at many more peculiar motions of galaxies than has been done before,” he added. (ANI)

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