Johns Hopkins University astronomers have created a new map of the universe. This is the first time the span of the known cosmos has been shown with pinpoint accuracy and sweeping beauty.
To create the map, astronomers mined over two decades through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a pioneering effort to capture the night sky through a telescope based in New Mexico.
This interactive map shows the actual position and real colors of 200,000 galaxies. Each dot on the map is a galaxy, and each galaxy contains billions of stars and planets. The Milky Way is simply one of these dots at the bottom of the map.
Universe expansion contributes to making this map even more colorful. The farther an object is, the redder it appears. The top of the map reveals the first flash of radiation emitted soon after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.
Map creator Brice Ménard, a professor at Johns Hopkins, said, “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. 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.”
“People will experience the map’s undeniable beauty and awe-inspiring sweep of scale.”
“From this speck at the bottom, we can map out galaxies across the entire universe, and that says something about the power of science.”