Scientists identify and classify more than half a million galaxies

Washington, Dec. 3 : Researchers have identified and classified more than half a million galaxies, after seven years of close observation of the universe from the Observatory of Calar Alto (CAHA, Almeria) and a technique that is able to break the stars' energy in their colors through astronomical filters.

In addition, this research has also allowed calculating the distances from these galaxies to us with unprecedented accuracy.

ALHAMBRA (Advanced Large, Homogeneous Area Medium Band Redshift Astronomical survey) has a system of twenty filters covering all wavelengths in the optical and three filters in the infrared, which allows to accurately determine the energy emitted by galaxies and the distance of half a million galaxies with unprecedented depth for the sample size.

Mariano Moles (CEFCA) said that ALHAMBRA represents a decisive step to board pressing issues in cosmology and astrophysics through photometric mapping, that allow getting the accuracy required to the distance of the detected objects.

He said that the unbiased character of these mappings allows obtaining relevant data for all cosmic scales and, in this sense, the ALHAMBRA project is a precursor of the new long-range mapping that is being proposed.

Vicent Martinez, professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Astronomic Observatory at the University of Valencia, said that it is a mapping project on an area of the universe in which the range of cosmic distances achieved is "impressive and, therefore, it allows to scan the cosmic evolution as, in astronomy, looking away is to look at the past.

He said that they can get to know how galaxies were in early stages of the universe history.

The vision of the universe that ALHAMBRA allows, on one hand, to study how the stellar content of galaxies has changed over time, i.e., to know how, when and how much they have aged and on the other, ALHAMBRA makes it possible to approach how the galaxies are distributed in the universe.

--ANI (Posted on 03-12-2013)

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