Pablo Carlos Budassi recently unveiled a new illustration based on almost incomprehensible logarithmic maps created by Princeton University. It shows the entire known visible universe. Though it is not a true map, it should be considered a “visualization showing fields of view” of the entire observable universe.
“Just remove a few billion light years between the objects,” is how Popular Mechanics recommended viewers to take in the enormous amount of detail and information contained in Budassi’s piece.
Here’s how it breaks down:
The outer rim is said to extend to the view of the Hubble Telescope. Much like Copernicus did in 1514, Budassi places the image of the Sun at the center of the Universe. This, perhaps, gives us perspective from where we are and our vision reaching outward. It seems logical that the parts we can see extend in a massive, multi-billion light year sphere around us. Though some have pointed out that, according to the University of California, the Universe has no center. However, it is a nice focal point for an artistic work.
Observable in the image are all the bodies of our solar system, with the Sun at the center, the Kuiper Belt, the Oort Cloud, the Perseus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Andromeda Galaxy. The outer rim is said to be comprised of the Cosmic Microwave Background, a byproduct of the Big Bang, and a “ring of plasma” said to have been created by the Big Bang.
The scale is described that “each chunk of the circle represents a field of view several orders of magnitude larger than the one before it.” Hexaflexagons were reported to have been Budassi’s inspiration for the representations of the Universe. If you don’t know what a Hexaflexagon is, as Tech Insider wrote, prepare to have your mind “blown.”
Budassi became fascinated by Hexaflexagons at one of his son’s birthday parties. “Then when I was drawing hexaflexagons for my sons birthday souvenirs I started drawing central views of the cosmos and the solar system,” Budassi said in an e-mail. “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 by my own.”
According to Science Alert, the logarithmic map data that Budassi used in the placement of the celestial bodies in the image was compiled by Princeton researchers J. Richard Gott and Mario Juric. Data published by the group was reported to have been documented by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which uses the New Mexican Apache Point Observatory’s wide-angle optical telescope in a study that has continued for over 15 years. Data compiled by the survey team comprises findings on 3 million celestial bodies used to make the most detailed three-dimensional of space ever available.