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View Full Version : Discussion: Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Part II



Fraser
2005-Jul-12, 04:33 PM
SUMMARY: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a comprehensive view of the night sky gathered by a dedicated 2.5 m telescope in New Mexico. Astronomers have used this vast database to make many discoveries about our Universe. And now it's going to have a sequel. SDSS II will be a new survey beginning in 2008, and consisting of three parts: a continued mapping of deep space to image distant galaxies and quasars; a detailed survey of our own Milky Way galaxy; and a study of supernovae, to try and help pin down the mysterious dark energy accelerating our Universe.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/sdss2_map_universe_milkyway.html)

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antoniseb
2005-Jul-12, 04:55 PM
The article doesn't seem to specifically say it, but I'm guessing that SDSS-II will be done using the same 2.5 meter telescope as SDSS was. I wonder what it would take for a practical follow-up study using larger instruments that can look back considerably further. It would probably be an unimagineably massive undertaking.

Concerning the data about the structure of the Milky Way, I'm wondering in what ways this survey will be better than the similar study that will be done by the ESA's Gaia probe.

Nick4
2005-Jul-27, 03:22 AM
I want to work in an observitory someday i think it would be cool.

Nereid
2005-Jul-28, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Jul 12 2005, 04:55 PM
The article doesn't seem to specifically say it, but I'm guessing that SDSS-II will be done using the same 2.5 meter telescope as SDSS was. I wonder what it would take for a practical follow-up study using larger instruments that can look back considerably further. It would probably be an unimagineably massive undertaking.

Concerning the data about the structure of the Milky Way, I'm wondering in what ways this survey will be better than the similar study that will be done by the ESA's Gaia probe.
There are three parts to SDSS II, according to the PR.

The most important, in the near-term, is completion of SDSS I. Quite why the original funding for this was insufficient isn't mentioned (nor do I have any 'insider knowledge'). Perhaps it is the classic 'cost overrun' that plagues just about every large IT project (SDSS is an IT project, up there with the most ambitious)?

The second part (Milky Way) seems to be simply doing more of what SDSS found, serendipitously - shredded globular clusters, LSB clusters, the picked-over bones of former satellite galaxies, ... perhaps they'll go look at low galactic latitudes, who knows what they'll find?

The third part is a 'poor man's SNAP' - using the 2.5 m scope, plus detectors, plus data pipeline (tweaked, no doubt) to find and follow up on distant SN1a's.

Yes, it uses the same 2.5m 'scope; one heck of a lot cheaper than building a new one!

No, almost no significant overlap with GAIA (as far as I can see).