The universe is so huge, humans can hardly even imagine it.
Just the fact that we need to measure distance in “light years” when referring to the universe should speak volumes about how large this place really is. We thought it was beyond the realm of human comprehension – at least, until artist Pablo Carlos Budassi came along. By using logarithmic maps of the universe from Princeton University, and then combining them with images from NASA, he was able to create an image of the observable universe in just one picture. Here it is:
Not quite what you expected, huh?
Logarithms, like the ones Budassi studied, are used to help us make sense of huge distances and numbers. So even though it seems as though the Milky Way Galaxy was mistakenly placed smack-dab in the middle of the image, the universe isn’t being shown here on a linear scale. As Tech Insider reports, “each chunk of the circle represents a field of view several orders of magnitude larger than the one before it”, which is why the entire observable universe can fit inside of this circle.
As for that weird, reddish-white stuff around the border? That’s cosmic radiation still left over from the big bang. The things that appear to be spiral-shaped clouds are actually galaxies, while all the white dots are, of course, stars.
The funny part is, because the borders of space are still expanding, it’s very likely that the universe has grown even more since this image was created.
Sure makes you feel small, doesn’t it?