Klaus Meisenheimer and Christian Wolf look forward to COMBO-17, a deep sky survey that should make it possible to bridge the gap between matter in the early universe and the pattern of galaxies that we see today. Abstract The COMBO-17 survey should significantly improve our understanding of galaxy evolution during the last 10 billion years in detail, given its multicolour method to determine redshifts and spectral types for 40 000 galaxies within more than a square degree of sky. In addition, mass determination in the supercluster A901/902 should give significant information about the total mass and distribution of dark matter in the universe. In particular, it should be possible to derive new results about the relative distribution of luminous and dark matter. We see this as a significant step in order to answer a decisive question of cosmology: how did the galaxies form from the density peaks in the early universe?