University of Pittsburgh
September 29, 2004

Mapping the Universe: Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Scientists Meeting at Pitt, Today through Oct. 3

SDSS senior scientist to give free, public lecture Oct. 2
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—What used to be a trickle of precise measurements of the universe—primarily from balloon- and space-based measurements of cosmic background radiation—has become a flood of data of unprecedented accuracy from large-scale galaxy and cluster surveys.

Michael Strauss of Princeton University, a senior member of the most ambitious astronomical mapping project ever undertaken—the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)—will give a free, public lecture at the University of Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.

Oct. 2, describing how the wealth of data is enriching our understanding of cosmology and what the SDSS tells us about the past and present universe. Strauss' lecture, titled "Science from the Sky: A Unified Model of Cosmology," will be held in 343 Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The lecture will be part of the SDSS' fall meeting, being held at Pitt from today, Sept. 30, through Oct. 3. A joint project of Pitt and a dozen other universities, institutes, and observatories, the SDSS is systematically mapping one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects. It also will measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars. The SDSS is widely considered to be the astrophysics equivalent of the Human Genome Project.