Astronomers released DECaPS2, a detailed catalog of 3.32 billion celestial objects in the Milky Way.
Astronomers have recently released a new and more detailed catalog of the Milky Way, called DECaPS2, which includes 3.32 billion celestial objects. This is the largest roadmap of our galaxy thus far and provides a greater understanding of the intricacies of the Milky Way. Assembling the catalog was a huge undertaking, and was made possible by the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. This new catalog shifts the perspective of scientists viewing the Milky Way since data was gathered from the southern hemisphere. The catalog covers 6.5 percent of the night sky and was released in 2017.
Lead author of the paper, Andrew Saydjari, commented on the catalog’s technical feat, saying “Imagine a group photo of over three billion people and every single individual is recognizable!” Astronomers will be able to use this catalog to learn more about galactic structure, galactic dust distributions, and star formation. Additionally, DECaPS2 completes a 360-degree panoramic view of the Milky Way’s disk and reaches much fainter stars.
Saydjari said that the catalog will be an incredibly useful tool for astronomers. He hopes that people understand the amount of information about our galaxy that is available if careful and rigorous statistical analyses are applied. He also hopes people understand that sometimes in astronomy the unthinkable is possible.
The DECaPS2 catalog is a remarkable achievement that has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the Milky Way. Astronomers will be able to use this catalog to gain an unprecedented level of detail about our galaxy, and uncover new information about the stars, dust, and structure of the Milky Way.