3D map of a million distant galaxies hidden behind the Magellan Clouds

3D map of a million distant galaxies hidden behind the Magellan Clouds

Researchers from the University of Kiel created the largest map of previously hidden galaxies. Scientists used the VISTA survey telescope in Chile to photograph galaxies — the Milky Way Satellite: The Great and Small Magellanova Clouds. Thanks to the high resolution of the images, astrophysicists were able to examine the gaps between the stars in each of them, so they could see the more distant galaxies.

These remote "hidden" galaxies appear to be thicker and more red because of the dust in the Magellan Clouds. To eliminate the influence of dust, scientists used the Australian radio telescope GASKAP and created a detailed map of gas and dust in the Magellan Clouds.

Another problem was to distinguish stars from galaxies, said scientists. The number of objects in the images was so large that it was not possible to do it manually. Researchers used the Gaia Observatory data to measure tiny shifts in the position of stars over time, while the much more remote galaxies remained in the same place. The galaxies are also more red than the more bright stars, so the color has helped remove more stars from the data set. The color also indicates how far the galaxies are.

Astrophysicists used machine learning to teach IA how to process data, and as a result, scientists created the largest 3D map of galaxies that ever existed, once hidden behind the Magellan clouds, covering about 1 million galaxies.

Magellano clouds are beautiful galactic associates, but unfortunately they block part of our view of objects, and our work helps bridge that and fill the gaps in our map of the universe.

Image on the cover: Big Magellanovo Cloud Photo: ESO/VMC Survey