New survey launched to discover life stories of nearby galaxies

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 - 12:00pm IST | Place: TOKYO | Agency: ANI

A new survey has been launched that would provide a deeper insight into the life history of the nearby galaxies in the universe.

The survey called 'MaNGA' (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory) would greatly expand researchers understanding of galaxies, including the Milky Way, by charting the internal structure and composition of an unprecedented sample of 10,000 galaxies.

MaNGA would be a part of the fourth generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV) and would make maps of stars and gas in galaxies to determine how they have grown and changed over billions of years, using a novel optical fiber bundle technology that could take spectra of all parts of a galaxy at the same time.

The new survey represents a collaboration of more than 200 astronomers at more than 40 institutions on four continents. With the new technology, astronomers would gain a perspective on the building blocks of the universe with a statistical precision that has never been achieved before.

Matthew Bershady from the University of Wisconsin, said that MaNGA would not only teach them about what shapes the appearance of normal galaxies but it would also provide them with new discoveries about the origin of dark matter, super-massive black holes, and perhaps even the nature of gravity itself.

MaNGA would obtain as many as 127 different measurements across the full extent of every galaxy. Its new instrumentation enables a survey of more than 10,000 nearby galaxies at twenty times the rate of previous efforts, which did one galaxy at a time. 




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