Logarithmic Map of the Visible World
Among the scientific community, it is widely believed that to date, humans have acquired about 5% of the Universe.
Yet, despite our limited knowledge, we could discover galaxies that were billions of light-years away from the Earth.
This figure by Pablo Carlos Budassi provides a logarithmic map of the known Universe, using Princeton University researchers’ data and updated since May 2022.
How Does the Map Work?
Before diving, it is worthwhile to touch on a few essential details about the map.
First, it is essential to note that the celestial objects shown on this map are not in scale. If measured in terms of size compared with how we see ourselves from Earth, almost all objects would be tiny dots (except the Moon, the Sun, and the nebulae and galaxies).
Second, the distance of each object from Earth is measured by a logarithmic scale, which proliferates to fit all data.
Within our Solar System, the map scale includes star units (A.U.), approximately the distance from Earth to the Sun. Otherwise, it grows to measure millions of parsecs, each of which equals 3.26 light-years, or 206,000 AU.
The map highlights several different celestial objects, including:
Cars and asteroids
Star programs and collections
Galaxies, including the Milky Way
The background of the cosmic microwave — rays left over from the Big Bang
Included are some of the latest discoveries, such as the far-reaching galaxy so far, HD1. Scientists believe that the newly discovered Universe was 330 million years after the Big Bang, or about 8.4 billion years before the Earth.
It also highlights some newly launched spacecraft, including the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NASA’s latest infrared telescope, and Tiangong Space Station, developed by China and launched in April 2021.
Why is it called the “visible universe”?
Humanity has been interested in space for thousands of years, and many scientists and researchers have dedicated their lives to furthering our knowledge of the cosmos.
Many people are familiar with Albert Einstein and his theory of relativism, which became the basis for physics and astronomy. Another prominent scientist was Edwin Hubble, whose discovery of extraterrestrial galaxies is considered the earliest observation of the Universe.
But the vast logarithmic map above, with any observations from Earth or spacecraft, is limited to nature. The Universe is about 13.8 billion years old, and nothing in the Universe can move faster than the speed of light.
When we calculate the expansion of the Universe and see the things that are moving away from us, that means the farthest we can see “is now estimated at 47.7 billion light-years. And as the light takes time to move, much of what we see is happening millions of years ago.