A New Cosmic Census Offers Unprecedented View Of Galaxies And Dark Matter

Posted: Mar 2 2017, 6:31am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


A New Cosmic Census Offers Unprecedented View of Galaxies and Dark Matter
This is a color composite image in the green, red and infrared bands of a patch of the sky known as the COSMOS field, as imaged by the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. The galaxies are seen at such large distances that the light from them has taken billions of years to reach Earth. The light from the faintest galaxies in this image was emitted when the universe was less than 10 percent of its present age. Credit: Princeton University/HSC Project

New images containing millions of stars and galaxies were released

Images taken by world largest telescope were released this week. The images show millions of stars and galaxies with several distant objects. A collaboration of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Princeton University scientists published the images.

The team collected the data through Subaru Telescope’s camera at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. Hyper Suprime-Cam is installed in the optical path, at the Subaru Telescope’s prime focus.  The camera is so powerful, as it can capture the sky area equal to nine full moons.

Scientists named the project Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) led the project along with the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Japan, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan, and Princeton University.

The project release includes data from first one and half years of the project including 61.5 nights of study in 2014. During 5 to 6 years, and the project will cover 300 nights.

The data will help scientists find past galaxies and dark matter that was not discovered before. Dark matter can be observed only through gravity effect as it does not absorb or reflect the light.

Dark matter was also observed in 2015, but the recent data release includes 50 times more sky than the previous study, giving more details of the dark matter.

The current survey has 3 parts, including Wide survey covering an area equal to 7000 full moons; a Deep survey, covering 26 square degrees; and an Ultra Deep survey, covering 3.5 square degrees that will help observe the distant galaxies.

Five broad wavelength bands, like green, red, infrared, z, and y and four narrow-band filters will be included in the survey. Such deep level images are possible, because of the light-collection power of the Subaru Telescope's mirror having 8.2 meters aperture.

Scientists have been taking the images with HSC since 2014, but current images are really impressive and detailed. The research data will be published in the Astronomical Society of Japan.

Michael Strauss and Robert Lupton of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton is the co-leader of the project. The project was funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) JP15340065; Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas JP18072003.

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