BOSS Makes the Biggest Chunk of the Universe Yet Available to the Public

The first data from BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey led by Berkeley Lab scientists, is now available to the public. Spectroscopic data from over 500,000 galaxies up to 7 billion light years away, more than 100,000 quasars up to 11.5 billion light years away, and many thousands of other astronomical objects are included in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Data Release 9. BOSS is the largest spectroscopic survey ever for measuring evolution of large-scale galactic structure.

Working with LBNL PI David Schlegel and Adam Bolton at the University of Utah, Berkeley Lab’s Stephen Bailey is in charge of daily “extraction pipeline” operations that convert raw data from the telescope into useful spectra and quantities derived from them, ready for scientific analysis. The data storage and the extraction pipeline run on the Riemann, 37-node Linux cluster, hosted and maintained of Berkeley Lab’s High Performance Computing Services Group. The Lab also hosts the SDSS-III website,, from which the data can be downloaded. Go here to read more.