- A mesmerizing logarithmic scale conception reveals the entirety of the observable Universe with the Solar System at its core.
- This artwork, crafted by musician and artist Pablo Carlos Budassi, is based on Princeton University’s logarithmic maps and NASA’s observations.
- The logarithmic scale provides a unique perspective, allowing us to comprehend the vastness of the Universe by representing each increment as a factor of 10.
- The foundation of this image lies in data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, generated using a powerful 2.5-meter optical telescope in New Mexico.
- Budassi’s inspiration for this masterpiece came from crafting hexaflexagons, resulting in a breathtaking visual representation of the cosmos.
Isn’t it breathtaking? The illustration before you is a logarithmic scale representation of the observable Universe, featuring the Solar System as its focal point. Surrounding it are a breathtaking array of cosmic elements, including the inner and outer planets, the Kuiper belt, the Oort cloud, the Alpha Centauri star, the Perseus Arm, the Milky Way galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy, nearby galaxies, the cosmic web, cosmic microwave radiation, and the invisible plasma remnants from the Big Bang at the very edges. For a closer look, scroll below to explore uncropped and zoomable versions.
Crafted by the multi-talented Pablo Carlos Budassi, this image is an amalgamation of logarithmic maps of the Universe meticulously compiled by researchers at Princeton University. It also incorporates imagery generated by NASA from observations made by their telescopes and roving spacecraft.
The team from Princeton, spearheaded by astronomers J Richard Gott and Mario Juric, constructed their logarithmic map based on data sourced from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Over the last 15 years, this survey has employed a formidable 2.5-meter wide-angle optical telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Through this, they’ve achieved a remarkable feat – crafting the most detailed three-dimensional maps of the Universe in history, including spectra for over 3 million astronomical objects.
Logarithmic maps serve as an indispensable tool for comprehending the unimaginable vastness of the observable Universe. They work by increasing each increment on the axes by a factor of 10 (order of magnitude) rather than uniform increments. The Princeton team first published these maps in the Astrophysical Journal back in 2005, and they’re readily available for perusal and download on their website.
Despite their incredible utility, logarithmic maps may not be visually striking on their own. This is where the creative genius of Pablo Carlos Budassi came into play. Inspired while crafting hexaflexagons for his son’s birthday, he conceived the notion of transforming the map into a grand circular representation.
Hexaflexagons are paper polygons with a surprisingly large number of faces – a likely childhood creation for many, albeit under a different name. As Budassi recounts, “When I was drawing hexaflexagons for my son’s birthday souvenirs, I started drawing central views of the cosmos and the Solar System. That day the idea of a logarithmic view came, and in the next days I was able to [assemble] it with Photoshop using images from NASA and some textures created [on] my own.”
To delve into the full-sized masterpiece created by Budassi, head to the provided link. Additionally, witness an alternate cosmic visualization generated by astronomers at the University of Hawaii – this one portrays our Milky Way galaxy in relation to a staggering 100,000 neighboring galaxies.