The 6dF Galaxy Survey story

In 2001 our international team of astronomers started an ambitious project to measure the distances to more than one hundred thousand galaxies - and in the process, map a sizable volume of our nearby universe. Measuring the masses and motions of the galaxies was also part of the plan: all the ingredients that shape the content of the universe in which we live. And so began the 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS).

The 6dF name is a reference to the Six-degree Field instrument, a nifty device that uses optical fibres and robotic positioning technology. It increases the observational power of the Anglo-Australian Observatory's UK Schmidt Telescope to more than 100 times its original capability.
      Dozens of tiny fingertip-sized glass prisms (left) let the telescope see up to 150 stars or galaxies at the same time - making 6dF the ultimate machine for mapping the nearby universe.

Over the next 6 years, we mapped nearly the entire southern sky (right). Observing over one hundred thousand galaxies was a massive task.

The end result is a new appreciation for the way galaxies cluster and move in our local universe, and how they have come to be that way. Our data, maps, and results are now available to other researchers and the public.

   Images and Movies

6dFGS: Beyond the Crux
A galaxy fly-through movie by P. Bourke, P. Morse and G. Rogers for a planetarium show. [LOW RES]

6dFGS fly-through
Another 6dFGS fly-through by P. Bourke. [LOW RES]

6dFGS: Southern Hemisphere
Various views of 6dFGS by T. Jarrett.

Large Scale Galaxy Structure
A look at the large-scale galaxy structures in 6dFGS by the late A. Fairall.

6dFGS image gallery
6dFGS images by C. Fluke using S2PLOT.

Interactive 3-d views of the 6dFGS redshift survey

Interactive 3-d views of the 6dFGS peculiar velocity survey