Most accurate 3D map of the Universe developed
This is the most extensive and accurate 3D map of the far Universe, obtained thanks to the observation and analysis of 90,000 galaxies through the VIMOS spectrometer installed at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This success was obtained by the international team of the VIPERS (VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey) project, coordinated by the National institute for Astrophysics (INAF).
The eight-year study led to mapping the distribution of the galaxies and retracing their physical properties, going back in time to 9 billion years ago, to an epoch when the Universe was “only” five billion years old. When compared to the current maps of the Universe, the new maps provide precious information about how galaxies have developed over time.
“The results presented in our recent scientific papers provide an extremely accurate scenario of how galaxies and structures that we see today have evolved over the last 9 billion years. It is like watching a piece of the film of their history, while before we only knew its end, along with a few fragments of the previous scenes”, said Luigi Guzzo, project coordinator, and Ben Granett, both from the University of Milan and the INAF Astronomic Observatory of Brera.
“Thanks to VIPERS we have for the first time, in these remote epochs, a unique combination of great amount and detailed sampling on a small scale of the structures. This enabled us to measure the properties of the galaxies with great precision depending on the environment they live in, groups, filaments, clusters”, said Olga Cucciati and Nicola Malavasi, from the INAF Astronomic Observatory of Bologna and the University of Bologna, who authored the two scientific articles recently released by the collaboration. By combining VIPERS data with those of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) which “photographs” the current sky – according to researchers – we will be able to follow the transformations of the galaxies as never before, for almost 10 billion years of their evolution.