ICYMI: A Map of the Entire Universe in One Image
If you ever happen to embark on a cosmic journey to the outer reaches of the universe, you may want to take along a copy of this map, which was created by musician and artist Pablo Carlos Budassi and encapsulates the entire cosmos in a single, mind-blowing image.
In order to create this incredible cartographic masterpiece, Budassi combined images from several of NASA’s telescopes and rovers with logarithmic maps of the universe created by astronomers from Princeton University. Logarithmic maps are able to encapsulate huge areas within manageable graphics since they decrease in scale as they move outwards from the center of the image, meaning that the objects in the middle of the map are shown in a much larger scale than those at the edges. As such, the vast distances of the outer reaches of the universe are condensed into a relatively small area on the map.
The image features the Solar System at its center, beyond which is a region of icy objects known collectively as the Oort Cloud. The next ring features the Milky Way galaxy, as well as a number of other nearby galaxies such as Andromeda.
Moving further still towards the edge of the map is a ring of cosmic microwave background radiation, which is the very earliest radiation in the universe, leftover from the Big Bang itself.
Finally, a ring of quark-gluon plasma encircles the entire cosmic image. This is the primordial particle soup that was created by the Big Bang, and which filled the entire universe for the first few microseconds of its existence.
With a map like this, there really is no excuse for getting lost the next time you happen to be navigating between Seyfert’s Sextet and the Virgo Cluster.
(via IFL Science)