The Largest Map of Galaxies in History Revealed

It took six years to collect information from more than 600 galaxies and create the largest database in history.

SPAIN – The international project Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey (CALIFA Survey) has resulted in providing the map of most important galaxies carried out to date. The aim project is to help astronomers in providing information on functioning of the cosmos. It is an Internet project open to public and community scientific.

The Milky Way, our cosmic home, is surrounded by millions of galaxies, star clusters that hide inside basic, essential and unknown information about the origins of the universe which now CALIFA Survey will help decipher.

Six years have taken CALIFA Survey astronomers in collecting information from over 600 galaxies and create the largest database of history, which is also available to the world on this website.

CALIFA Survey is an international project, but with Spanish roots, since the idea came from Spanish researcher Sebastián Sánchez, currently at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Sanchez himself explains his project: “As a sociologist learn more about a specific human being studying their environment, their family and social relationships, astronomers can increase awareness of our cosmic home, the Milky Way, studying our fellow in the sky”.

According to the project coordinator at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), researcher Jesus Falcon Barroso said, the project had two precedents: Sauron, where they studied 72 galaxies of early type from a data obtained from an instrument located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, and Atlas3D, where they studied 260 galaxies.

CALIFA Survey  has not only reached a much larger number of galaxies, but has also widened the range of these morphological stellar clusters, which has opened much the landscape study of the formation and evolution of galaxies.

The researchers mostly used integral field spectroscopy for observation,  a novel technique that allows for many data images of the galaxy. Something like a “panoramic view of stellar evolution, “says Sebastián Sánchez.

The goal of astronomers is to complete the general outline of the evolution of the Universe, understand how they form and galaxies evolve, but with previous map “this was only achieved from a single point of view. That is the strength of the project. Now we can look at the same problem from different angles ” said Falcon Barroso.

The complexity of the data obtained in CALIFA Survey is therefore a challenge for the entire scientific community.

Source: EFE Agency

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