The Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) is releasing the largest digital color image of the sky ever made.

IPMU press release

■from press release■
Masahiro Takada, the associate professor of IPMU, said “The SDSS-III can even improve our understanding of the Universe, especially the nature of dark energy. Furthermore, by combining the SDSS-III data with the Subaru Hyper SuprimeCam survey* we can explore the nature of another dark component, dark matter, which is surrounding around every galaxies, via gravitational lensing.”

Hitoshi Murayama, the director of IPMU, remarked “IPMU was established to study the fundamental mysteries of the Universe, and we believe a major survey of distant galaxies combining imaging and spectroscopy is the way forward. We joined SDSS-III to get started with this science, and will conduct even deeper surveys on Subaru telescope from 2012.* The first step is imaging using HyperSuprimeCam being constructed, and the next step spectroscopy with PrimeFocusSpectrograph being conceived. The experience from the tremendous success of SDSS-III would be the basis of our future surveys.”

*Both are conducted by this program, the SuMIRe project.