Astronomers have published the largest and most complete 3D map of the Universe ever created.
It includes more than four million individual galaxies and ultra-bright quasars and is the result of two decades of research from an international team of researchers.
The map provides an accurate look at the scale and expansion of the universe from shortly after the Big Bang onwards.
Will Percival of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, who was involved in the project, said it yields a ‘complete story of the expansion of the universe’.
The map relies on the latest observations of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), titled the ‘extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey’ (eBOSS).
Data was collected over six years from an optical telescope in New Mexico.
Lots is known about the earliest portion of the universe’s life as many researchers have studied the Big Bang.
However, there has always been a gap in knowledge in the middle portion of the universe’s existence, lasting around 11 billion years.
Kyle Dawson of the University of Utah said the map was partly created in an attempt to tackle this ‘troublesome gap’.