The new map allows you to explore the universe to the edge of the universe

The new map allows you to explore the universe to the edge of the universe

For the first time, you can time travel through space to the edge of the visible universe from the comfort of your own home. Johns Hopkins University unveiled a first-of-its-kind map Thursday that lets users browse 200,000 galaxies — “the extent of the entire known universe.”

The map is a “piece of the universe” that combines 20-plus years of data to present information previously seen only by scientists with “exact precision and incredible beauty,” Johns Hopkins said.

In it, people can see a colorful spectrum of dots representing the actual positions and colors of 200,000 galaxies, each filled with its own billions of stars and planets. The spectrum is so massive that it dates back to 13.7 billion years ago in a bright line that shows a real picture of the edge of the observable universe. Called the “Cosmic Microwave Background,” the image is the first flash of light emitted after the big bang.

Visualization of the map of the universe.  / Credit: B. MÉNARD & N. STARKMAN

Visualization of the map of the universe. / Credit: B. MÉNARD & N. SHTARKMAN

Johns Hopkins professor and map maker Brice Ménard said he was inspired by astronomy images growing up and “now is our time to create a new type of image to inspire people.”

“Astrophysicists around the world have been analyzing this data for years, leading to thousands of scientific papers and discoveries. But no one has taken the time to create a map that is beautiful, scientifically accurate, and accessible to non-scientists.” he said. . “Our goal here is to show everyone what the universe really looks like.”

The data included in the map was captured by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which uses a telescope in New Mexico to capture broad perspectives of the night sky. For 15 years, he captured night images in different locations to gather the necessary data.

“On this map, we’re just a speck at the bottom, just a pixel. And when I saw us, I mean our galaxy, the Milky Way that has billions of stars and planets,” Ménard said. “We’re used to seeing astronomical images that show a galaxy here, a galaxy there, or maybe a group of galaxies. But what this map shows is a very, very different scale.”

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