Interactive map of the universe includes 200,000 galaxies • Earth.com

Interactive map of the universe includes 200,000 galaxies

11-20-2022

Astronomers at Johns Hopkins University have created an interactive map of the universe, including the actual position and real colors of 200,000 galaxies. The map allows the public to access data that was previously only available to scientists.

The map was developed using data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. For over two decades, a telescope in New Mexico was aimed at slightly different locations to capture the night sky. 

“Growing up I was very inspired by astronomy pictures, stars, nebulae and galaxies, and now it’s our time to create a new type of picture to inspire people,” said map creator Brice Ménard, a professor at Johns Hopkins. “Astrophysicists around the world have been analyzing this data for years, leading to thousands of scientific papers and discoveries. But nobody took the time to create a map that is beautiful, scientifically accurate, and accessible to people who are not scientists. Our goal here is to show everybody what the universe really looks like.”

“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.”

“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.”

The interactive map is available online, where it can be downloaded for free.

Video Credit: Johns Hopkins 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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