CU-Boulder joins effort to map stars, galaxies in 3D

By: Steve Monday July 1, 2013 0 comments Tags: Boulder, CU-Boulder, Michael Shull

university of colorado boulder logoBOULDER - The University of Colorado Boulder has become a full institutional member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV, an ambitious effort by some of the world's top astronomers to map the celestial sky in three dimensions to learn more about the structure and evolution of the universe.

The survey, known as SDSS-IV, is the fourth stage of an effort that began in 2000 to create the largest digital color image of the northern sky, said Michael Shull, CU-Boulder professor and lead scientist in the effort to add the university to the survey.

Since 2000, astronomers have mapped about half of the visible northern sky in 3D as part of the prior Sloan sky surveys, which have revealed nearly a half billion astronomical objects ranging from asteroids and stars to galaxies and distant quasars.

"We got into this because we think it is going to be a great recruitment tool for new students, and we have one of the best undergraduate majors in the country," Shull said.

"We also want to recruit high-caliber graduate students and postdoctoral researchers."

The Sloan telescope sky-mapping project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, participating institutions, National Science Foundation and the U.S. DOE's Office of Science.

A video news story on the project is available at http://youtu.be/1Rke59L5cAo.

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