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3-D Space Map

May 23, 2011

Using light from quasars, scientists are mapping the distant universe.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Mapping the early universe…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have created the most extensive map yet made of the distant universe, ten billion light years away. They’ve done so by measuring the shadows left by quasars, the brightest objects in the universe, according to astrophysicist David Schlegel of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He says that after the universe formed about 13.7 billion years ago, it started expanding. The force of gravity pulled galaxies together, which slowed it down. But 6 or 7 billion years ago, the expansion started accellerating again, possibly due to dark energy.

DAVID SCHLEGEL (Lawrence Berkeley National Labs):

And that’s really the phenomena that we’re trying to get at with these maps. What we’re trying to do is map out the history of the universe, so this expansion, and this accellerating expansion, what that has done over the course of time.

HIRSHON:

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.