APOD: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:55 am

Image The Known Universe

Explanation: What would it look like to travel across the known universe? To help humanity visualize this, the American Museum of Natural History has produced a modern movie featuring many visual highlights of such a trip. The video starts in Earth's Himalayan Mountains and then dramatically zooms out, showing the orbits of Earth's satellites, the Sun, the Solar System, the extent of humanities first radio signals, the Milky Way Galaxy, galaxies nearby, distant galaxies, and quasars. As the distant surface of the microwave background is finally reached, radiation is depicted that was emitted billions of light years away and less than one million years after the Big Bang. Frequently using the Digital Universe Atlas, every object in the video has been rendered to scale given the best scientific research in 2009, when the video was produced. The film has similarities to the famous Powers of Ten video that has been a favorite of many space enthusiasts for a generation.

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[Few good links can also be found in this thread - PSA by makc]

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by bystander » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:45 am

An amazing video, and quite humbling. Kudos to the American Museum of Natural History.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by emc » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:54 pm

To the edge of the universe... and beyond?

Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to dream.

Very cool video… would love to take an actual trip someday… especially in the same time frame... to our vantage visible edge and back during one cup of coffee! (As for me, I would most likely get lost somewhere between Earth and Mars!)

But what if we really could circumvent the universe in reasonable time frames? Perhaps we would worry less about the Sun blowing up! (Not that many people worry about this.) But wait another five billion years.
Last edited by emc on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by r937 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:02 pm

as we started to back away from the earth, and all those green lines started showing up for satellites in LEO, i'm thinking, hey, wait'll they show all the lines for the comsats in geosync, of which there weren't as many as i suspected...

and when we backed out further, i thought... HEY, SOMEBODY STOLE DA MOON!!!

luna was completely missing, both on the way out to the edge of the universe and then at the end on the way back in to earth

sigh

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by novapowell » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:30 pm

myself,... i think i'll watch this,
at LEAST once a week,
just to keep a perspective
on things...

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by DCStone » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:37 pm

This and the "Powers of 10" video make a nice progression from the one I remember as a kid - the NFB's 1968 "Cosmic Zoom" http://www.nfb.ca/film/cosmic_zoom

I wonder what the equivalent clip will look like in, say, 2020? Should be a perfect vision!

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by CharlieNNC » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:40 pm

Ok, don't laugh at this but...during the first lunar landing in 1969, the networks had continuous coverage, but would run info segments when trip events were slow. I remember clearly watching a 'short' run by CBS, humorously similar. This pictured in animation format, a zoomout from the earth very similar to this, all the while the audio from NASA to Apollo and back playing as the soundtrack. The zoomout kept going, with the animators understanding of what leaving the universe might look like, zooming farther out until you exited a rock. The zoomout continued until you could see the rock on a dish inside some scientific machine with a scientist peering in. All the time the audio from Apollo being heard until in mid word, a large spark goes from an electrode to the rock. No more audio. Perhaps this video resides on the internet somewhere.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by mrogovin » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:16 pm

Nice but I prefer the original Eames' film Powers of 10, on which this is clearly based. First of all, the Eames film also went to the subatomic scale - the other edge of the known universe. Second, it provided a little more detailed descriptions of distances in scale, time and proportion. Third, rather than based in a mountain range in Asia, it started at a human scale: literally with humans (at a picnic in Chicago in the best known of the two versions). I think this was important because most of us relate to the universe on a human scale, rather than on a mountain scale (which itself is vast and oftern hard to comprehend). It would have been nice for AMNH which is based in NY to start with people in the park outside the planetarium (or have versions that start in various locations around the world, but all at a human scale). I would love to see the original film updated. Still, this is well done and goes put things in proportion. It is a incomprehensibly vast universe out there.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:51 pm

r937 wrote:HEY, SOMEBODY STOLE DA MOON!!!

luna was completely missing, both on the way out to the edge of the universe and then at the end on the way back in to earth
I'm guessing the idea here is to constantly concentrate on ever larger features on the way out.

The moon would suddenly have become a smaller feature; however, it's orbit is a larger one.

(It was nice to see that they ignored both Pluto & its orbit
despite the picture icon at the top of this thread. :wink: )
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:05 pm

neufer wrote:(It was nice to see that they ignored both Pluto & its orbit
despite the picture icon at the top of this thread. :wink: )
Given that the guy who claims responsibility for the whole Pluto debacle works at the Hayden Planetarium, it would be amazing if Pluto were in that video. They ignored the entire Kuiper belt. I guess because it would be too faint. Their focus did seem to be on illustrating a realistic scale.
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:49 pm

geckzilla wrote:
neufer wrote:(It was nice to see that they ignored both Pluto & its orbit
despite the picture icon at the top of this thread. :wink: )
Given that the guy who claims responsibility for the whole Pluto debacle
works at the Hayden Planetarium, it would be amazing if Pluto were in that video.
The guys responsible for the whole Pluto/Planet X debacle are dead.
geckzilla wrote:They ignored the entire Kuiper belt. I guess because it would be too faint.
They couldn't very well include the Kuiper belt after ignoring the Asteroid belt.
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by sellekaers » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:13 pm

Well, it all looks nice, but first of all the Milky Way has no bar on the image, which is wrong, as it is known that the Galaxy is a spiral WITH a bar.
Secondly "the galaxies we have mapped so far" are again wrong, as the whole sky is already mapped up to some 150 Mpc in depth (for example by the 2MASS Redshift Survey) and the map in the movie looks like what was done (probably) by SDSS only.
So those who visit the Museum and watch this movie don't really get a true picture about "the Known Universe".

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by DonAVP » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:25 pm

r937 wrote:as we started to back away from the earth, and all those green lines started showing up for satellites in LEO, i'm thinking, hey, wait'll they show all the lines for the comsats in geosync, of which there weren't as many as i suspected...

and when we backed out further, i thought... HEY, SOMEBODY STOLE DA MOON!!!

luna was completely missing, both on the way out to the edge of the universe and then at the end on the way back in to earth

sigh
Play it again. It shows the orbit of the moon both going out and coming in. Note, after the satellite orbits fad out the moon orbit is seen. This is going out. Coming in, it shows the orbit of the moon. We never see the moon however. Also no satellite orbits coming in.

I don't think they showed the geosyc orbit however. I have seen them represented and they are evenly spaced in pairs (or more can't recall) at the same orbital distance.

Don

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:33 pm

sellekaers wrote:Well, it all looks nice, but first of all the Milky Way has no bar on the image,
which is wrong, as it is known that the Galaxy is a spiral WITH a bar.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
sellekaers wrote:Secondly "the galaxies we have mapped so far" are again wrong, as the whole sky is already mapped up to some 150 Mpc in depth
(for example by the 2MASS Redshift Survey) and the map in the movie looks like what was done (probably) by SDSS only.
So those who visit the Museum and watch this movie don't really get a true picture about "the Known Universe".
One could always go to a Creationist museum and watch
"the Known Universe in the biblical sense".
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by DonAVP » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:44 pm

Very well done and worth saving. Is it possible to download this?

May I plug a very neat program called Celestia http://www.shatters.net/celestia/. It give you the ability to fly out like this video and much more. It is free and shows much of what is shown in the video. It does not show the know galaxies out toward the furthest point or the background radiation. However there are a number of addons that people have created to show more detail. It is to scale. It is not a game, more of an educational program. It gives you the ability to point and click any star visible. It will tells the name, class, luminous and distance from were you are. You can fly to any object in the system. Here is a list of objects you can view stars, galaxies, open clusters, planets, asteroids, comes, satellites, nebula (addons) and eclipses of any moon on any planet. Like I said this program is very impressive. It is a 34 meg download and will run without internet connections.

Don

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm

neufer wrote:
geckzilla wrote:They ignored the entire Kuiper belt. I guess because it would be too faint.
They couldn't very well include the Kuiper belt after ignoring the Asteroid belt.
Ignoring the asteroid belt is even worse than ignoring the Kuiper belt. Every kid and his mom knows about the asteroid belt but the Kuiper belt is fairly obscure. I demand asteroids and Kuipers and Oorts too. That's it, I like Contact's version better... even if the planets were mysteriously lined up for the occasion... it goes through the asteroid belt and Saturn's rings and the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. How bout that? Eh? Eh?!
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by JohnD » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:12 pm

Very nice, but I'm puzzled.......

What's the white glow that envelopes the Solar System as we leave it, and as we return,
and the geodesic sphere seen as we leave the Milky Way?

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by djullman » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:35 pm

Wonderful movie. I'm sure it took a ton of work and I commend your efforts. If you ever update it in the future, it'd be neat to include a Twin Paradox return trip, where the viewer of this movie ages 5 minutes, but the solar system ages 13.7 billion years while we were gone. Maybe just travel 1 billion years away from earth and then show what the earth might look like 1 billion years from now: changes in climate, land masses, erosion, etc...

Again, thanks for the great animation.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by ta152h0 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:19 pm

I had to play it again, my stereo was cranked up playing " Stoned cowboy "by fantasy 1969 to overwhelm the chosen music.
Pass the ice cold one ,please.
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by Case24 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:56 pm

I'm having a hard time grasping just how small I am. Can you help me gain some perspective?
If the Earth were an approx. 5cm diameter (approx. 2") marble, what object represents our sun?
If our sun were a 5cm diameter marble, what object reflects the size of our solar system?
If our solar system were a 5cm diameter marble, what object reflects the furthest extent of human originated radio waves?
If the furthest extent of human originated radio waves were a size of a 5cm diameter marble, what object reflects the size of our galaxy?
If our galaxy was a 5cm diameter marble, what object reflects the size of our universe?

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by emc » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:46 pm

Hi Case24, If it helps, you are infinitely less than small compared to the universe. Heck, we don’t even know for sure how big the universe really is. We can only see so far then physics take over… Limited Sight Distance… know what I mean?

I think what is really important is the truth about why and how we are here. Can anybody tell ME? The Bible tells me that we are here to relate with God but what's so hard about that? Just imagine building the universe from scratch. Tell me what we know about that.

And r937, what’s this talk about stealing the Moon? Now there’s something new to add to my worries. And wouldn’t that be a good way to torment life on Earth? What would life be like on Earth without the Moon? Would there even be life? At what then would we howl at night? The stars…? How frustrating would that be? I mean all those stars… Which one to pick? Too many choices… It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

I hope we’re never liberated from the Moon and its gravitational interactivity!
Image

And what do we really know about the universe? Can anyone tell me in three sentences or less?
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by alexsosa » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:07 pm

Don;t mean to be picky, but on the way out from earth in the movie, sunlight on earth is shown turning, yet the background stars stay in place. Since the sun/earth relative position is almost fixed in relation to the stars during one day, shouldn't the sunlit portion of earth also be almost fixed in relation to the star background?

Great movie. I have visited your site almost every day for several years now. A wonderful place. Thank you.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:11 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by jimsaruff » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:44 pm

Hey, Ed!

How about these three?

1) The universe is evolving.

2) You somehow possess the ability and desire to view and interact with it; you, therefore, are inarguably a part of it.

3) Your personality is unique.

Note: I am not suggesting this is comprehensive. Just some of the things we might believe to be true about the universe.

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Re: The Known Universe (2010 Jan 20)

Post by emc » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:43 am

Hi Jim!
Good answers! While each of us has unique personality we can still share a same vantage point. The Universe is bigger than all of us. Thanks for answering and BTW helping me feel a part of it.
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