Slices through the SDSS 3-dimensional map of the distribution of galaxies. Earth is at the center, and each point represents a galaxy, typically containing about 100 billion stars (Credit: M. Blanton and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey)
A collaboration of researchers from around the world has just made the largest ever digital color image of the sky available to the scientific community and the public. The image has been put together using photographic information obtained from a powerful digital camera mounted on a telescope in New Mexico and spectroscopic surveys executed through several programs. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has presented the enormous sky map to the 217th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.