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In astronomy, the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (Two-degree-Field Galaxy Redshift Survey), 2dF or 2dFGRS is a redshift survey conducted by the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) with the 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope between 1997 and 11 April 2002.  The data from this survey were made public on 30 June 2003. The survey determined the large-scale structure in two large slices of the Universe to a depth of around 2.5 billion light years (redshift ~ 0.2). It was the world's largest redshift survey between 1998 (overtaking Las Campanas Redshift Survey) and 2003 (overtaken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey). Matthew Colless, Richard Ellis, Steve Maddox and John Peacock were in charge of the project. Team members Shaun Cole and John Peacock were awarded a share of the 2014 Shaw Prize in astronomy for results from the 2dFGRS.
The 2dF survey covered an area of about 1500 square degrees, surveying regions in both the north and the south galactic poles.  The name derives from the fact that the survey instrument has a 2 degree diameter field of view.
The areas selected for observation were previously surveyed by the massive APM Galaxy Survey (on which Steve Maddox also worked).  The regions surveyed cover roughly 75 degrees of right ascension for both bands, and the declination of the North Polar band was about 7.5 degrees while the declination of the South Polar band was about 15 degrees. Hundreds of isolated two degree fields near the South Polar band were also surveyed (see this illustration, where black circles represent survey fields, and the red grid represents the earlier APM survey).
In total, the photometry of 382,323 objects were measured, which includes spectra for 245,591 objects, of which 232,155 were galaxies (221,414 with good quality spectra), 12,311 are stars, and 125 are quasi-stellar objects (quasars).  The survey necessitated 272 required nights of observation, spread over 5 years.
The survey was carried out with the 4 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope, with the 2dF instrument installed at the primary focus permitting the observation of a field of 2 degrees per pointing. The instrument possesses a spectrograph equipped with two banks each of 200 optical fibres, permitting the simultaneous measurement of 400 spectra.
The limiting apparent magnitude of the survey is 19.5, covering objects with a redshift mostly within less than z=0.3 and a median redshift of 0.11. The volume of the Universe covered by the survey is approximately 108h−1 Mpc 3, where h corresponds to the value of the Hubble constant, H0, divided by 100. H0 is approximately 70 km/s/Mpc. The largest redshift observed by the survey corresponds to a distance of 600 h−1 Mpc.
The principal results obtained for the field of cosmology by the 2dF survey are:
All these results are in agreement with the measurements of other experiments, notably those of WMAP. They confirm the standard cosmological model.
The 2dF survey also yields a unique view on our local cosmic environment. In the figure a 3-D reconstruction of the inner parts of the survey is shown, revealing an impressive view on the cosmic structures in the nearby universe. Several superclusters stand out, such as the Sloan Great Wall, one of the largest structures  in the universe known to date (see also Huge-LQG).
Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about 27% of its total mass–energy density or about 2.241×10−27 kg/m3. Its presence is implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and that it has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution. Dark matter is called dark because it does not appear to interact with the electromagnetic field, which means it does not absorb, reflect or emit electromagnetic radiation, and is therefore difficult to detect.
Galaxy groups and clusters are the largest known gravitationally bound objects to have arisen thus far in the process of cosmic structure formation. They form the densest part of the large-scale structure of the Universe. In models for the gravitational formation of structure with cold dark matter, the smallest structures collapse first and eventually build the largest structures, clusters of galaxies. Clusters are then formed relatively recently between 10 billion years ago and now. Groups and clusters may contain ten to thousands of individual galaxies. The clusters themselves are often associated with larger, non-gravitationally bound, groups called superclusters.
In physics, a redshift is an increase in the wavelength, and corresponding decrease in the frequency and photon energy, of electromagnetic radiation. The opposite change, a decrease in wavelength and simultaneous increase in frequency and energy, is known as a negative redshift, or blueshift. The terms derive from the colours red and blue which form the extremes of the visible light spectrum.
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), originally known as the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), is an inactive uncrewed spacecraft operating from 2001 to 2010 which measured temperature differences across the sky in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – the radiant heat remaining from the Big Bang. Headed by Professor Charles L. Bennett of Johns Hopkins University, the mission was developed in a joint partnership between the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Princeton University. The WMAP spacecraft was launched on June 30, 2001 from Florida. The WMAP mission succeeded the COBE space mission and was the second medium-class (MIDEX) spacecraft in the NASA Explorers program. In 2003, MAP was renamed WMAP in honor of cosmologist David Todd Wilkinson (1935–2002), who had been a member of the mission's science team. After nine years of operations, WMAP was switched off in 2010, following the launch of the more advanced Planck spacecraft by European Space Agency in 2009.
Observational astronomy is a division of astronomy that is concerned with recording data about the observable universe, in contrast with theoretical astronomy, which is mainly concerned with calculating the measurable implications of physical models. It is the practice and study of observing celestial objects with the use of telescopes and other astronomical instruments.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), formerly the Anglo-Australian Observatory, was an optical and near-infrared astronomy observatory with its headquarters in North Ryde in suburban Sydney, Australia. Originally funded jointly by the United Kingdom and Australian governments, it was managed wholly by Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The AAO operated the 3.9-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and 1.2-metre UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) at Siding Spring Observatory, located near the town of Coonabarabran, Australia.
Observational cosmology is the study of the structure, the evolution and the origin of the universe through observation, using instruments such as telescopes and cosmic ray detectors.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey or SDSS is a major multi-spectral imaging and spectroscopic redshift survey using a dedicated 2.5-m wide-angle optical telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, United States. The project was named after the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which contributed significant funding.
The ΛCDM or Lambda-CDM model is a parameterization of the Big Bang cosmological model in which the universe contains three major components: first, a cosmological constant denoted by Lambda and associated with dark energy; second, the postulated cold dark matter ; and third, ordinary matter. It is frequently referred to as the standard model of Big Bang cosmology because it is the simplest model that provides a reasonably good account of the following properties of the cosmos:
In astronomy, a redshift survey is a survey of a section of the sky to measure the redshift of astronomical objects: usually galaxies, but sometimes other objects such as galaxy clusters or quasars. Using Hubble's law, the redshift can be used to estimate the distance of an object from Earth. By combining redshift with angular position data, a redshift survey maps the 3D distribution of matter within a field of the sky. These observations are used to measure detailed statistical properties of the large-scale structure of the universe. In conjunction with observations of early structure in the cosmic microwave background, these results can place strong constraints on cosmological parameters such as the average matter density and the Hubble constant.
The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is a science instrument that was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope during Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125) in May 2009. It is designed for ultraviolet (90–320 nm) spectroscopy of faint point sources with a resolving power of ≈1,550–24,000. Science goals include the study of the origins of large scale structure in the universe, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and the origin of stellar and planetary systems and the cold interstellar medium. COS was developed and built by the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA-ARL) at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colorado.
The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a visible and near-infrared survey that aims to probe the dynamics of the expansion of the Universe and the growth of large-scale structure. The collaboration is composed of research institutions and universities from the United States, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.
In physical cosmology and astronomy, dark energy is an unknown form of energy that affects the universe on the largest scales. The first observational evidence for its existence came from measurements of supernovae, which showed that the universe does not expand at a constant rate; rather, the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Understanding the evolution of the universe requires knowledge of its starting conditions and its composition. Prior to these observations, it was thought that all forms of matter and energy in the universe would only cause the expansion to slow down over time. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background suggest the universe began in a hot Big Bang, from which general relativity explains its evolution and the subsequent large-scale motion. Without introducing a new form of energy, there was no way to explain how an accelerating universe could be measured. Since the 1990s, dark energy has been the most accepted premise to account for the accelerated expansion. As of 2021, there are active areas of cosmology research aimed at understanding the fundamental nature of dark energy.
Ofer Lahav is Perren Chair of Astronomy at University College London (UCL), Vice-Dean (International) of the UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS) and Co-Director of the STFC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science. His research area is Observational Cosmology, in particular probing Dark Matter and Dark Energy. His work involves Machine Learning for Big Data.
In cosmology, baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) are fluctuations in the density of the visible baryonic matter of the universe, caused by acoustic density waves in the primordial plasma of the early universe. In the same way that supernovae provide a "standard candle" for astronomical observations, BAO matter clustering provides a "standard ruler" for length scale in cosmology. The length of this standard ruler is given by the maximum distance the acoustic waves could travel in the primordial plasma before the plasma cooled to the point where it became neutral atoms, which stopped the expansion of the plasma density waves, "freezing" them into place. The length of this standard ruler can be measured by looking at the large scale structure of matter using astronomical surveys. BAO measurements help cosmologists understand more about the nature of dark energy by constraining cosmological parameters.
The 6dF Galaxy Survey, 6dF or 6dFGS is a redshift survey conducted by the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) with the 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope between 2001 and 2009. The data from this survey were made public on 31 March, 2009. The survey has mapped the nearby universe over nearly half the sky. Its 136,304 spectra have yielded 110,256 new extragalactic redshifts and a new catalog of 125,071 galaxies. For a subsample of 6dF a peculiar velocity survey is measuring mass distribution and bulk motions of the local Universe. As of July 2009, it is the third largest redshift survey next to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS).
The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey is a project to exploit the latest generation of ground-based wide-field survey facilities to study cosmology and galaxy formation and evolution. GAMA will bring together data from a number of world class instruments:
Cosmic voids are vast spaces between filaments, which contain very few or no galaxies. Voids typically have a diameter of 10 to 100 megaparsecs ; particularly large voids, defined by the absence of rich superclusters, are sometimes called supervoids. They have less than one tenth of the average density of matter abundance that is considered typical for the observable universe. They were first discovered in 1978 in a pioneering study by Stephen Gregory and Laird A. Thompson at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a scientific research instrument for conducting a spectrographic astronomical surveys of distant galaxies. Its main components are a focal plane containing 5,000 fiber-positioning robots, and a bank of spectrographs which are fed by the fibers. The new instrument will enable an experiment to probe the expansion history of the universe and the mysterious physics of dark energy.
The Hyperion proto-supercluster is the largest and earliest known proto-supercluster, 5,000 times the mass of the Milky Way and seen at 20% of the current age of the universe. It was discovered in 2018 by analysing the redshifts of 10,000 objects observed with the Very Large Telescope in Chile.