Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Universe Nearby

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The Universe Nearby


What does the universe nearby look like?

This plot shows over one and a half million of the brightest stars
and galaxies in the nearby universe detected by the
Two Micron All Sky Survey
(2MASS) in infrared

The resulting image is an
incredible tapestry of stars and galaxies that
provides limits
on how the universe formed and evolved.

Across the center are stars that lie in the
plane of our own
Milky Way Galaxy.

Away from the Galactic plane, vast majority of the dots are
galaxies, color
coded to indicate distance, with blue dots representing the nearest
galaxies in the
2Mass survey,
and red dots indicating the most distant survey galaxies that lie at a
redshift near 0.1.

Named structures
are annotated.

Many galaxies are
gravitationally bound together to form
which themselves are loosely bound into
superclusters, which in turn are sometimes seen to
align over even larger scale structures.

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