Mapping the Large-Scale Structure of the Universe

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Science  22 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5734, pp. 564-565
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115128

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Galaxies are not scattered about the universe in a random way, but rather form an intricate network of filaments, sheets, and clusters. How these large-scale structures formed is at the root of many key questions in cosmology. In his Perspective, Weinberg discusses two ongoing astronomical efforts--the Two-Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey--that seek to map cosmological structures over an unprecedented range of scales. By making these ambitious measurements, researchers hope to understand phenomena such as dark energy, the inflationary expansion of the universe after the big bang, and the mechanisms of galaxy formation.