Recently, you can see a brand new interactive galaxy map that extends to the edges of the known universe. “Until now, no one had taken the time to create a beautiful, scientifically accurate and accessible map.”
Through www.mapoftheuniverse.net you can scroll to the edges of the known universe with an interactive and elegantly designed map. It was compiled by astronomers at Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
The map is based on data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This long-running project, in which a telescope in New Mexico, USA, has scanned the sky almost every night for more than two decades, has now resulted in a map of some 200,000 galaxies seen from our Milky Way.
Culinary lessons from space
We are a pixel
“Astrophysicists around the world have been working with this data for a long time, leading to thousands of scientific publications and discoveries. But so far no one has taken the time to create a beautiful, scientifically accurate map that is also accessible to non-scientists,” says the manufacturer. Brice MenardAmerican University astronomer, in a video.
By visualizing these 200,000 galaxies, the creators of the website give visitors a special impression of the real size of the universe. “We are just one pixel on this map, at the very bottom of the map. And when I say ‘we’, I mean the Milky Way: a place with billions of stars and planets,” explains Ménard.
In collaboration with the artist Nikita Shtarkman, a former computer science student at Johns Hopkins University, Ménard was able to visualize a portion of the universe – in the shape of a slice of pizza – that extends to the edges of the universe as we know it. Therefore, if you scroll up, you will see the farthest visible light, which was emitted a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
Ménard: “Growing up, I was inspired by astronomical photos of stars, nebulae and galaxies. Now is the time to create a new type of image to inspire people. The fact that we can view the entire observable universe from the tiny dot at the bottom of this map speaks volumes about the power of science.
What is striking when looking at the map is the large number of different colors, almost like a full rainbow. This is because light from galaxies at different distances also reaches us at different wavelengths. The further away the galaxy is, the redder it appears. So you see that the expanding universe can not only provide an insightful picture, but also a beautiful picture.
“I think everyone can take something from this map and understand our place in it. universe is,” says Ménard. “It’s really a completely different scale than what we’re used to from a map. And that here we only see a cutting of the whole.
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