Printer Friendly

All-sky survey makes Internet debut. (Astronomy).

Last month, an atlas of some 5 million images from the celestial map known as the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) became available online (http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/gallery). It's the most detailed high-resolution survey of the entire sky so far (SN: 2/23/02, p. 122).

Researchers conducted the survey at infrared wavelengths, using identical 1.3-meter telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres. Because infrared light emitted by stars and galaxies penetrates dust more easily than their visible light does, infrared telescopes are more likely to reveal objects hidden behind dust.

The images add to the storehouse of astronomical data already online, which scientists hope will become part of a national virtual observatory. With such a resource, which includes analytical tools for finding patterns within the raw data, astronomers could make discoveries without leaving their offices.

For example, notes Michael Skrutskie of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with 2MASS, "we can, in effect, step outside our galaxy and see it in detail, as it would appear from above." The survey, he adds, also enables astronomers to discern details in the distribution of galaxies outside the Milky Way.--R.C.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:celestial map available online
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 12, 2003
Words:194
Previous Article:Mapping watersheds invites comparisons. (Environment).
Next Article:Weight-loss pill carries risks. (Biomedicine).
Topics:


Related Articles
Galaxies in a primitive state?
Europeans set infrared satellite launch.
Waves from a parallel universe; preparing a stunningly detailed map of the radio sky.
Coloring the cosmos; the sky's the limit.
Ambitious sky survey gets under way.
Sharper images: new Hubble camera goes the distance. (This week).
Star reading: Astronomy in Mexico. (Mexico on the Web).
Innovative astronomy programs for camp.
Firefly Atlas of the Universe.
Night Sky Tracker: Backyard Astronomer's Logbook.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters