THIS IMPRESSIVE VIDEO showcases results from a gigantic survey of galaxies known as the 6dF Galaxy Survey. The Survey mapped the nearby universe over almost half the sky, measuring the redshifts of more than 125,000 galaxies. Of those, 11,000 have been specially chosen and have had their velocities measured—their motions through space are helping astronomers to understand the mass involved in each galaxy, and how galaxies move and group together in the wider universe.
The survey gets its name, 6dF, from an innovative instrument installed on the Australian Astronomical Observatory’s UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring in New South Wales. 6dF has a 6-degree-wide field of view—12 times wider than the full Moon—which is very wide for a large telescope. This wide field of view, coupled with the instrument’s ability to study 150 galaxies at a time, makes it an extremely efficient tool with which to do large astronomical survey projects.
The video was produced by Paul Bourke, and was structured so it could be projected on the full dome of a planetarium…which is why it seems to be distorted on a flat screen. Every dot and fuzzy ball you can see is an entire galaxy.
Adapted from information issued by ICRAR / Anglo-Australian Observatory / Paul Bourke (visuals and animation), and Peter Morse and Glenn Rogers (music).
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