If you’re into thinking about the scale of the universe and other cosmographic questions that overwhelm the senses, this video might just blow your mind.
The international team of scientists who put it together created a 3-D map of the galaxies within 300 million light-years of the Milky Way. They show scale and movement within this astronomical sphere by panning, zooming and rotating around, making it easy to forget that Earth is a tiny speck buried in the vastness of this representation of the cosmos.
"The large-scale structure of the universe is a complex web of clusters, filaments, and voids," said the University of Hawaii announcement released with the video. "Large voids—relatively empty spaces—are bounded by filaments that form superclusters of galaxies, the largest structures in the universe. Our Milky Way galaxy lies in a supercluster of 100,000 galaxies."
Top Image: Map showing all galaxies in the local universe color-coded by their distance to us: blue galaxies are the closest, and red are farther, up to 300 million light-years away. Courtesy University of Hawaii.
Our cups ran over with the many beautiful and amazing images scientists and satellites captured this year when they looked around and out from Earth. From things microscopic to those light years across, and from morning coffee to the deep recesses scattered around the universe, we bring you some of our favorite science pictures created in 2012.
These are in no particular order and by no means inclusive of all the best.
1. The first, above, comes from Hinode - a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of the sun’s surface magnetism. The project brings us this unique image of the transit of Venus between the Earth and sun, the once-in-a-lifetime event that occurred on June 5. Courtesy: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin.
Click through to see the rest.