The results of this ten-year project were presented on April 1, 2009, at the international meeting (Malaysia09) of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between March 30 and April 3, 2009.
According to the AAO article “Galaxy survey maps where matter lurks,” this new survey of galaxies “… will reveal not only where the galaxies are but also where they’re heading, how fast, and why.”
AAO astronomer Dr. Heath Jones, the lead scientist for the Six-Degree Field Galaxy Survey (6dFGS), which detailed these galaxies, stated, “It’s like taking a snapshot of wildebeest on the African plain. We can tell which waterholes they’re heading to, and how fast they’re travelling.” [AAO]
The astronomers on this 6dFGS project used the 1.2-meter U.K. Schmidt telescope (UKST) at Siding Spring Observatory (Coonabarabran, Australia) in northern New South Wales to take the images of these galaxies from 2001 to 2006.
The Anglo-Australian Observatory, headquartered near Sydney, Australia, operates the UKST.
The scientists began the planning stage of the Six-Degree Field Galaxy Survey in the late 1990s. On Friday, April 3, 2009, they released their map after all the data had been collected.
Although many of these galaxies can’t be actually “seen” by the radiation (light) they emit, scientists here on Earth can “detect” them by the gravity they contain, which disturbs matter in their vicinity.
Any “worries” you might have down here on Earth are smaller than you can imagine.