Science

A Look at the Entire Universe in a Single Image

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Most people would have a hard time imagining what the universe looks like, especially when crammed into a single field of view. But Pablo Carlos Budassi, a musician, managed to create such a visual by combining images from NASA with logarithmic maps from Princeton, allowing the entire expanse to be seen in a single disc.

As reported by the Independent, Budassi was inspired to create the image after constructing hexaflexagons for his son’s birthday celebration.

“When I was drawing hexaflexagons for my [son’s] birthday souvenirs, I started drawing central views of the cosmos and the solar system,” said Budassi. “Tha day, the idea of a logarithmic view can and in the next days I was able to [assemble] it with Photoshop using images from NASA and some textures created by my own.”

The image features our sun at the center, surrounded by our solar system and then the outer ring of the Milky Way galaxy and the Perseus arm of the Milky Way. Another ring features nearby galaxies, like Andromeda, and the cosmic web.

Cosmic microwave background radiation, a result of the big bang, is also included, as well as a final ring of plasma, also left over from the big bang.

Much of the visual components are created used satellite images and photographs collected by NASA rovers. Each ring of the completed image is representative of several orders of magnitude beyond the one proceeding it.

Logarithms are normally used with numerical data. The image is the product of using the massive distances between the objects to complete the calculations.

Instead of presenting the information in a linear fashion, the disc is a compilation of fields of view, allowing the entire universe to be displayed in a circle.

Budassi has also created and released other images, including a hexagon depiction using similar data.

Budassi decided to release the image into the public domain, allowing it to be easily enjoyed by anyone.

The results are visually stunning and certainly offer a new perspective on what the universe contains.