Perimeter Institute: Mapping the universe like an eBOSS

Find out about the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey — a remarkable effort to chart the vastness of space
By Daniel Kitts - Published on Apr 07, 2021
Will Percival is a cosmologist working primarily on galaxy surveys. (Perimeter Institute)

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Outer space is so big, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around it.

Don’t believe me? The universe is 93 billion light years across and contains hundreds of billions of galaxies and probably more than a sextillion stars. (And, yes, sextillion is a real number that equals one million billion.)

How is a person supposed to make sense of something so enormous?

Well, you could do worse than ask Will Percival. He’s one of the minds behind the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), which, using the positions of millions of galaxies and quasars dating back roughly 11 billion years, created the largest three-dimensional map of the universe ever made.

During a webcast at 7 p.m. on April 7 hosted by the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Percival will share insights from eBOSS to help viewers better understand just how big the universe is. You can watch the webcast here:

The Perimeter Institute’s public lectures are usually held once a month. TVO.org is streaming the entire 2020-21 series.

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