Mapping the Universe: Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)

Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). ‘Simply put, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the most ambitious astronomical survey ever undertaken. When completed, it will provide detailed optical images covering more than a quarter of the sky, and a 3-dimensional map of about a million galaxies and quasars. As the survey progresses, the data are released to the scientific community and the general public in annual increments.
The SDSS uses a dedicated, 2.5-meter telescope on Apache Point, NM, equipped with two powerful special-purpose instruments. The 120-megapixel camera can image 1.5 square degrees of sky at a time, about eight times the area of the full moon. A pair of spectrographs fed by optical fibers can measure spectra of (and hence distances to) more than 600 galaxies and quasars in a single observation. A custom-designed set of software pipelines keeps pace with the enormous data flow from the telescope.’

Data Release and other Scientific and Technical Publications

SDSS Educational Resources. ‘The Sloan Digital Sky Survey offers teachers and informal educators a wealth of astronomical data and images through lesson plans, interactive media, presentations and more.
Our materials will show your students everything from asteroids in our own solar system to the most distant quasars ever observed! Students can explore truly exotic objects such as carbon stars, methane dwarfs, and supernovae, all using the same high-quality data that professional astronomers use.’

SDSS Image of the Week Archive

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