The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) has just released the largest comprehensive sample of high-resolution infrared spectra of 57,000 stars in our Milky Way.
Data Release 10 is the latest in a series of data releases stretching back to 2001. This release includes the first data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), and includes an additional year of data from the ongoing SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). APOGEE is obtaining R~22,500 spectra of 100,000 red giant stars sampled through the bulge, disk, and halo of our galaxy. These spectra allow astronomers to determine radial velocities, temperatures, surface gravities, and abundances of elements in these stars.
BOSS has now obtained spectra for almost 1.4 million objects, including 860,000 galaxies and 105,000 quasars from (2<z<3.5), as part of its quest to measure the positions of 1.5 million massive galaxies over the past six billion years of cosmic time, as well as 160,000 quasars — giant black holes actively feeding on stars and gas — from as long ago as 12 billion years in the past.
DR10 is available at: http://www.sdss3.org/dr10.