Nature of the universe


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Thought I'd post this link about the recent background microwave mapping.

This is being heralded as a "Rosetta Stone" of sorts - it presents some quite precise data that a New Scientist editorial declared would make or break a number of theories about the nature of the universe.

So long as we keep an eye out on any interpretive assumptions it may well prove to be one of the most valuable explorations of the issue so far.
A 10-year project to merge data from a number of major sky surveys has apparently created an unprecendented atlas of the galaxy.

There's a range of best pics from the project image gallery here.

And if you know enough about astronomy, you can use the actual atlas itself from the homepage here.

And just to remind you all, here's where we all live...
A few years ago I had a run of buying National Geographic. They had some really good posters in a couple of them. I have two on my wall, set up above and behind my computer screen -

One is a graphical reconstruction of the Acropolis of Athens from the Hellenistic period (though without painted columns ;) ).

The other is what purports to be a map of the universe, so far as can be done. It has a few different sections - first a view of our solar syatem>>then showing where our star lays in proximity to the nearer stars in our galaxy>>then it shows where that fits in with the Milky Way>>then it shows how the Milky Way relates to the Local Group of galaxies>>then it shows how that relates to the galactic supercluster that we are a part of. A lovely picture. :)
I just had a look - couldn't find the Greek one, but did find the universe one here.

(and here's a view below... ;) )
That is an amazing poster. I'm subscribed to National Geographic, and hopefully one of their issues will contain an astronomical poster. So far, I just have a bunch of world maps tacked up on the walls...
I've been tempted more recently to buy Nat Geo again - but I simply haven't seen it around.

The photography was always superb, but the profiles of different locations always seemed formulaic and repeat the same thing, with only the basic details changed. Maybe that's just me being cynical. The kids would love the pics, though - I'll definitely have to keep a closer eye out.