Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday beautiful science

Sorry I've been quiet for a while. Various personal issues have kept me fairly occupied (including flying out to California for a job interview at a biotech company).

Today's Friday beautiful science is something I've lusted after ever since I first saw it. It's a 3-dimensional map of our best data about the Milky Way galaxy, mapped out in painstaking detail inside of a cube of glass. It's simply beautiful.

Behold: a galaxy suspended in a glass cube.

A laser was used to etch around 80,000 of the stars in the Milky Way, using three-dimensional data from the Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory.

Production of the cube was motivated by the urge to see a galaxy in three dimensions. In encyclopedias and such, galaxies can only be viewed in two: we wanted to do so from all directions. Even the Magellan Cloud, comparatively close to us, is outside this cube. Space can be sparsely filled, one could say…or rather, there are great extremes in density.
I've made prints of many of my other Friday beautiful science photos. Perhaps some day I'll save enough Japanese yen to be able to purchase this little beauty...



RBH said...

Aw, Jeez. I really want one of those!

Kadjah said...

That is really amazing. Of course who wouldn't feel a tiny bit more powerful having a replica of the universe sitting on the desktop?

Also, fsm, ftw.