AZPM Reporting Intern Kellie Mejdrich filed an audio story on the grant:

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Astronomers involved in a project to map nearly a quarter of the night sky have received a grant to help fund the project. BigBOSS, as the project is known, will be based at the Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak west of Tucson. The $2.1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will be used to pay for a small part of the overall cost of BigBOSS.

Arjun Dey, one of the lead astronomers for the project, says BigBOSS will create a map of about one-quarter of the sky, going back to when the universe was 8 billion years old. It will use new instrumentation that will be installed at the 4-meter Mayall Telescope. The Mayall is housed in the prominent dome-shaped structure that can be seen on the summit of Kitt Peak for miles around.

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Photo: P. Marenfeld (NOAO/AURA/NSF)

The NOAO Mayall 4-meter Telescope on Kitt Peak National Observatory, where the instrument for BigBOSS will be installed.

BigBOSS is a joint endeavor of the Tucson-based National Optical Astronomy Observatory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $100 million.

Hear Arjun Dey talk more about the BigBOSS project

Read more about Arizona astronomy, at Arizona Public Media's Collecting Light page