The dark band across the image centre is blocked by dust in the plane of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Away from the Galactic plane, however, each dot represents a galaxy, color coded to indicate distance.
Bluer dots represent the nearer galaxies in the 2MASS survey, while redder dots indicating the more distant survey galaxies that lie at a redshift near 0.1.
Named structures are annotated around the edges. Many galaxies are gravitationally bound together to form clusters, which themselves are loosely bound into superclusters, which in turn are sometimes seen to align over even larger scale structures.
Karen Masters from the University of Portsmouth presented the map last month at the 218th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
‘The 2MASS Redshift Survey is a wonderfully complete new look at the local universe – particularly near the Galactic plane,’ she said.
‘We’re also honoring the legacy of the late John Huchra, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who was a guiding force behind this and earlier galaxy redshift surveys.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2003876/Spectacular-image-shows-50-000-galaxies-nearby-universe.html#ixzz1PXznu8BD