Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Science of Cosmography Reveals 3-D Map of the Local Universe (Get your bearings!)
MIT Technology Review ^ | 6/5/13

Posted on 06/05/2013 2:51:39 PM PDT by LibWhacker

New Science of Cosmography Reveals 3-D Map of the Local Universe

The three-dimensional structure of the local universe may one day become as familiar as our local geography thanks to a new generation of maps that reveal our neighbourhood’s rich complexity and our place within it

 

The geography of our world is one of the great cultural invariants. There can hardly be the person on the planet who isn’t familiar with the shape of the continents and how they dovetail together or of the Earth is a pale blue sphere orbiting the Sun with seven other planets.

Given a three-dimensional model of the solar system, almost everyone can zoom in from beyond the Oort cloud to the planet Earth and then even further to the street where they live. It is powerful shared knowledge.

But at greater distances, our geographical knowledge becomes a little blurred.  Many people will have seen the extraordinary three-dimensional models of the filamentary structures that galaxies form on the larger scales in our universe.

And yet these structures remain strangely unfamiliar. Given an unlabelled three-dimensional model of this large-scale structure of the universe, who could point to the place we call home?

All that should begin to change in the next few years with the increasingly accurate maps that cosmologists are compiling of the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies within universe.

Today, Helene Courtois at the University of Lyon in France and a few buddies show off this newfound knowledge in a movie (and accompanying paper) that they’ve created to explore the rich structure of our galactic neighbourhood.

You can view the movie here.

One of the key questions that this data can help to answer is whether the distribution of visible mass in the universe is an accurate reflection of the distribution of dark matter. Courtois and co so that the data shows that this is indeed the case.

The film does a fine job of showing the three-dimensional structure of this space. It also reveals the limitations of human language in describing this complex tapestry. That’s not really surprising given that our vocabulary has evolved to describe a geography that is essentially two-dimensional.

Just how to describe our position within the three-dimensional filamentary structure of the universe is a challenge that astronomers will have to wrestle with in the coming years.

And since this presents a rather different challenge than ordinary geography, researchers have coined a new term to describe this kind of intergalactic mapping–cosmography.

We can expect to see more of these kinds of 3D maps of the universe as the data becomes better and more easily accessible. And as cosmography grows into a science in its own right. Perhaps one day they will appear as familiar to us as the shape of the continents on this pale blue dot.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1306.0091: Cosmography Of The Local Universe


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: cosmography; local; map; stringtheory; universe
Do check out that video. The scale is mindblowing and yet only covers "the local universe." Video length is 17 min 25 sec.
1 posted on 06/05/2013 2:51:39 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Wow, the narrator’s accent is just too much for me to understand.


2 posted on 06/05/2013 2:54:54 PM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Thank goodness, now I will always know where I am.


3 posted on 06/05/2013 2:57:22 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

ping.


4 posted on 06/05/2013 2:59:48 PM PDT by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Oh, yeah, “local universe.” To make readers think that the astronomers know what’s outside of it.


5 posted on 06/05/2013 3:00:44 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

DUDE LETS GO TO THE ZONE OF AVOIDANCE!


6 posted on 06/05/2013 3:03:36 PM PDT by struggle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Finally! The Total Perspective Vortex!


7 posted on 06/05/2013 3:04:31 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (To attempt to have intercourse with a hornet's nest is a very bad idea)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
or of the Earth is a pale blue sphere orbiting the Sun with seven other planets.

Isn't it 57 planets?

8 posted on 06/05/2013 3:05:38 PM PDT by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Size is mindboggling.


9 posted on 06/05/2013 3:07:30 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: familyop

Oh, but we do know what is outside of the local universe. Astronomers have been studying it for decades. Remember, by “local universe” they don’t mean our universe in some giant multiverse of universes. They only mean our tiny corner of this universe, the one we have known and loved for nearly a century.


10 posted on 06/05/2013 3:13:20 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Thanks. So what’s outside of the greater universe then?


11 posted on 06/05/2013 3:37:56 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: struggle

“DUDE LETS GO TO THE ZONE OF AVOIDANCE!”

Chicago?


12 posted on 06/05/2013 3:49:32 PM PDT by edh (I need a better tagline)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: familyop

I’m just an interested layman, definitely not an expert, but before someone came up with the idea of a multiverse (which is still quite controversial), I think most astronomers and physicists would’ve said there’s is nothing outside of our universe. Our universe is all there is, and it’s expanding. It’s not expanding into something that’s “outside” of it, like a cake in an oven, rather it’s expanding in the sense that new space is being created all the time that wasn’t there before.


13 posted on 06/05/2013 4:10:39 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Dude...for a layman, that’s a pretty deep concept. Well done.


14 posted on 06/05/2013 4:54:06 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Where’s the little arrow that says “You Are Here”, I can’t find the route to the food court...


15 posted on 06/05/2013 5:11:51 PM PDT by PsyOp (Common sense has become so rare it ought to be considered a "Super-Power".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sergio

Thanks, very kind of you. I owe that particular interpretation (to the extent I got it correct) to Freeper ‘Physicist,’ who doesn’t come around anymore, much to our detriment.


16 posted on 06/05/2013 5:32:32 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: PsyOp

Don’t go to the cosmic food court. I think we might be on the menu. ;-)


17 posted on 06/05/2013 5:33:45 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

And wash us down with Pangalacticgargleblasters?


18 posted on 06/05/2013 6:51:44 PM PDT by Orbiter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Things sure have changed out there since the last time I was abducted.


19 posted on 06/05/2013 7:22:03 PM PDT by MaxMax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

“Thank goodness, now I will always know where I am.”

You are Here (saw it in a shopping mall one time).


20 posted on 06/05/2013 11:44:25 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Thanks colorado tanker, another extra to APoD members.


21 posted on 06/06/2013 4:09:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker; 6SJ7; AdmSmith; AFPhys; Arkinsaw; allmost; aristotleman; autumnraine; Beowulf; ...

Thanks colorado tanker.

· String Theory Ping List ·
Periodic Table
· Join · Bookmark · Topics · Google ·
· View or Post in 'blog · post a topic · subscribe ·


22 posted on 06/06/2013 4:10:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Was the “Zone of Avoidance” declared by Intergalactic Treaty?

Or is it just a VERY bad neighborhood?

Does it have its own food desert? Its own mosque?


23 posted on 06/06/2013 4:49:49 AM PDT by left that other site (You Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set You Free...John 8:32)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
we might be on the menu

I was thinking the same thing...

"How do you want your human, regular or extra-crispy?"

24 posted on 06/07/2013 2:38:12 AM PDT by PsyOp (Common sense has become so rare it ought to be considered a "Super-Power".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson