Based on the position of quasars, astronomers have prepared the first map of the universe large-scale structure of the universe.
They have made use of the Sloan Foundation Telescope for two years and surveyed the universe under the project Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), enabling them measure three-dimensional positions of more than 147,000 quasars.
Quasars are the bright and distant points of light, visible all the way across the univers. When matter and energy fall into a quasar’s black hole, they heat up to incredible temperatures and glow, which could be detected by the 2.5 metre Sloan Foundation Telescope on Earth.
Ashley Ross of the Ohio State University said,”That makes them the ideal objects to use to make the biggest map yet.”
After successfully creating a three-dimensional map of where the quasars are, scientists used another method that involved studying “baryon acoustic oscillations”, which configured sound waves that travelled through the early universe, when it was much hotter and denser than the present-day universe.
The explanation for this sound waves detection is that when the universe was 380,000 years old, certain conditions changed suddenly and the sound waves became “frozen” and left imprinted in the three- dimensional structure of the universe we see today.
The results of the new study follow the predictions of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, besides including other components whose effects can be measured.
The image shows a slice through three-dimensional map of the Universe. Earth is at the left, and distances to galaxies and quasars are labelled by the lookback time to the objects. The locations of quasars are shown by the red dots, and nearer galaxies mapped by SDSS are also shown (in yellow). The right-hand edge of the map is the limit of the observable Universe, from which we see the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) – the light “left over” from the Big Bang. The bulk of the empty space in between the quasars and the edge of the observable universe are from the “dark ages”, prior to the formation of most stars, galaxies, or quasars. Image Credit: Anand Raichoor (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne, Switzerland) and the SDSS collaboration.