The Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, which uses something called "drift scanning" to document the vastness of the sky, has been snapping pictures of the heavens for twelve years as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The Survey's findings have been compiled into a 3D map of space, picturing 200 million galaxies and "7 billion years worth of cosmic movement." The map will get bigger, soon.
The data from the survey, and the map itself, is largely impenetrable to non-specialists. Happily, somebody involved in the project has produced a video tour of the map as it exists today. AFTER THE JUMP, take a tour of what might be the most comprehensive map in the universe. It's certainly the most comprehensive map in our corner of it.