The grant will support the next phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which is expected to launch in 2020. Under the direction of NYU physics professor Michael Blanton, the survey is considered one of the most successful in the history of the field, having resulted in the most-detailed three-dimensional maps of the universe ever made, with deep multi-color images of one-third of the sky and spectra for more than three million astronomical objects. The survey operates out of the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, home of the survey's original 2.5-meter telescope, and Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, where it uses the du Pont Telescope.
To be directed by Juna Kollmeier of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the fifth-generation SDSS-V will consist of three projects, each mapping a different component of the universe: the Milky Way, black holes, and local volume.
"For more than twenty years, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has defined excellence in astronomy," said Sloan Foundation president Paul L. Joskow. "SDSS-V continues that august tradition by combining cutting-edge research, international collaboration, technological innovation, and cost-effective grassroots governance."
(Image by Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science/SDSS)