Universe Images Captured By Subaru Telescope Released To The Public

The enormous trove of data obtained by Subaru Telescope’s largest digital camera has been released for the first time to the public. It is expected that the data will be of high value for researchers and general public and will become a powerful tool for exploring universe.

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The first dataset from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program (HSC-SSP) contains amazing images of universe taken by HSC. It is an optical imaging camera mounted on the Subaru Telescope, which has been a part of extensive survey program since 2014. The giant digital camera has extremely wide field of view and it provides an unprecedented view into the universe.

“Since 2014, we have been observing the sky with HSC, which can capture a wide-field image with high resolution," said Dr. Satoshi Miyazaki, the leader of the HSC-SSP. "We believe the data release will lead to many exciting astronomical results, from exploring the nature of dark matter and dark energy, as well as asteroids in our own solar system objects and galaxies in the early universe. SSP team members are now preparing a number of scientific papers based on these data. We plan to publish them in a special issue of the Publications of Astronomical Society of Japan. Moreover, we hope that interested members of the public will also access the data and enjoy the real universe imaged by the Subaru telescope, one of the largest the world."

The dataset includes first 1.7 years of observations and contains almost 100 million stars and galaxies. Some of them are most distant galaxies in the Universe. So far, the data comprises 80 terabytes, which is comparable to about 10 million images taken by a general digital camera.

The dataset can be easily viewed on PC or tablet. All you need is a HSC Viewer, which is the user-friendly website to display the HSC-SSP data. The site allows user to see various galaxies in different shapes, colors and sizes.

“The Subaru telescope allows us to examine very faint objects in the Universe over a wide area of the sky. As for our Milky Way Galaxy, we can look over distant, faint stars reaching up to the edge of the Galaxy, and thereby investigate the processes of its formation,” said Masahiro Takada, who serves as a co-chair of the HSC-SSP Science Working Group.

“We were able to catalog almost 100 million galaxies that exist across the distant Universe, which have been -- with time -- changing from the decelerating expansion phase to the accelerating phase (this happened about 7 billion years ago). That data allows for a detailed study of the history of the Universe with the aim of shedding light on such topics as the origin of galaxies as well as the nature of dark matter and dark energy."

After 2020, researchers are aiming to take more detailed images of celestial objects by using the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), which is currently under construction. HSC-SSP is led by the astronomical communities of Japan and Taiwan and United States.

Source : https://www.i4u.com/2018/03/127431/universe-images-captured-subaru-telescope-released-public

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