Daniel Eisentein/SDSS-III

New map of the universe unveiled

Scientists have released a record-breaking 3D map of distant galaxies, the Daily Mail reports. Hundreds of scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III came together to make the largest 3D map of the universe, which shows 1.2 million galaxies up to 6 billion light-years away. The map is also allowing scientists to make some of the most precise measurements yet of dark energy—a force that is driving the rapid expansion of the universe. A collection of papers describing the results have been submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The data collected only constitute a tiny portion of the entire universe, and in the image above galaxies’ positions are represented by colored dots, where yellow indicates galaxies nearer to Earth and purple indicates galaxies farther away. The image covers about 1/20th of the sky and represents a slice of the universe 6 billion light-years wide, 4.5 billion light-years high, and 500 million light-years thick.