An Interactive Map Lets You Gaze Through the Observable Universe

Depicting the position of 200,000 galaxies (each represented by a single dot), a new interactive map by astronomers at Johns Hopkins University lets viewers gaze from the Milky Way through one large slice of the perceptible universe. Two decades of data collected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was transformed into the color-coded map by artist and designer Nikita Shtarkman. “In this map, we are just a speck at the very bottom, just one pixel. And when I say we, I mean our galaxy, the Milky Way which has billions of stars and planets,” Brice Ménard, a professor at Johns Hopkins, says. “We are used to seeing astronomical pictures showing one galaxy here, one galaxy there or perhaps a group of galaxies. But what this map shows is a very, very different scale. From this speck at the bottom, we are able to map out galaxies across the entire universe, and that says something about the power of science.” Read more, watch an informative video and scope out several photos by Shtarkman at designboom.

Image by B. Ménard & N. Shtarkman/Johns Hopkins University