Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2011 June 14
Explanation: What does the universe nearby look like? This plot shows nearly 50,000 galaxies in the nearby universe detected by the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in infrared light. The resulting image is anincredible tapestry of galaxies that provides limits on how the universe formed and evolved. The dark band across the image centre is blocked by dust in the plane of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Away from the Galactic plane, however, each dot represents a galaxy, colour coded to indicate distance. Bluer dots represent the nearer galaxies in the 2MASS survey, while redder dots indicating the more distant survey galaxies that lie at a redshift near 0.1. Named structures are annotated around the edges. Many galaxies are gravitationally bound together to form clusters, which themselves are loosely bound into superclusters, which in turn are sometimes seen to align over even larger scale structures.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.