Next Generation Astronomical Survey to Map the Entire Sky

November 16, 2017
The next generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V) will move forward with mapping the entire sky following a $16 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will kickstart a ground-breaking all-sky spectroscopic survey for a next wave of discovery, anticipated to start in 2020, just after the start of the all-sky survey by the MPE’s eROSITA X-ray telescope.
This artist’s impression shows a cutaway view of the parts of the Universe that SDSS-V will study.

SDSS-V will study millions of stars to create a map of the entire Milky Way. Farther out, the survey will get the most detailed view yet of the largest nearby galaxies like Andromeda in the Northern Hemisphere and the Large Magellanic Cloud in the Southern hemisphere. Even farther out, the survey will measure quasars, bright points of light powered by matter falling into giant black holes.

The start of the SDSS-V programme is an important milestone for the eROSITA team at MPE. With its high sensitivity, large field of view, and high survey efficiency, eROSITA on board SRG is bound to revolutionise X-ray astronomy. Within just the first twelve months of the its all-sky survey, due to begin in 2019, eROSITA will discover as many new X-ray celestial objects as are known today, combining all X-ray missions over more than 50 years of exploration. 

SDSS-V will be the first world-class facility that will embark in a systematic, large-scale follow-up campaign of the eROSITA survey in a so-called “Black Hole Mapper”. Thanks to that effort, MPE scientists and members of the eROSITA consortium will be able to accurately measure redshift (and thus distance) for hundreds of thousands X-ray sources (mainly growing supermassive black holes and clusters of galaxies) newly  discovered by eROSITA.

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