Category: observable universe

The Celestial Zoo: A Map of 200+ Objects in Our Universe


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


Detailed Map of Outer Space and the Known Universe

View a larger version of this graphic. For a full-size option or to inquire about posters, please visit Pablo Carlos Budassi’s website.

The Celestial Zoo: A Map of 200+ Objects in our Universe

Humans have been observing the universe for thousands of years.

And while we haven’t figured out all the answers quite yet, we’ve made some remarkable discoveries when it comes to learning about outer space.

What are some of the most notable observations that scientists have discovered so far? This map of outer space by Pablo Carlos Budassi highlights more than 200 celestial objects in our universe and provides details and facts about each one.

The Types of Celestial Objects Mapped

To create this graphic, Budassi used a combination of logarithmic astronomical maps from Princeton University, as well as images from NASA.

The visualization highlights 216 different celestial objects that are color-coded and organized into five overarching categories:

  • Moons and Asteroids
  • Planets
  • Galaxies
  • Star System
  • Great Scales/Superclusters

At the center of the map is the Sun, which is the largest object in our Solar System. According to NASA, the Sun’s volume is equivalent to 1.3 million Earths. The Sun is the powerhouse of life here on Earth—its energy provides our planet with a mild, warm climate that keeps us alive, keeping the Earth from becoming a frozen rock.

While the Sun is the only star in the Solar System, there is a neighboring star system called Alpha Centauri that’s approximately 4.37 light-years (Read more...)

All the Contents of the Universe, in One Graphic


This post is by Mark Belan from Visual Capitalist


Infographic showing the composition of the universe

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All the Contents of the Universe, in One Graphic

Scientists agree that the universe consists of three distinct parts: everyday visible (or measurable) matter, and two theoretical components called dark matter and dark energy.

These last two are theoretical because they have yet to be directly measured—but even without a full understanding of these mysterious pieces to the puzzle, scientists can infer that the universe’s composition can be broken down as follows:

ComponentValue    
Dark energy68%
Dark matter27%
Free hydrogen and helium4%
Stars0.5%
Neutrinos0.3%
Heavy elements0.03%

Let’s look at each component in more detail.

Dark Energy

Dark energy is the theoretical substance that counteracts gravity and causes the rapid expansion of the universe. It is the largest part of the universe’s composition, permeating every corner of the cosmos and dictating how it behaves and how it will eventually end.

Dark Matter

Dark matter, on the other hand, has a restrictive force that works closely alongside gravity. It is a sort of “cosmic cement” responsible for (Read more...)

A Logarithmic Map of the Entire Observable Universe


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


Logarithmic map of the Observable Universe

For a full-size option or to inquire about posters, please visit Pablo Carlos Budassi’s website.

A Logarithmic Map of the Entire Observable Universe

Among the scientific community, it’s widely believed that so far humans have only discovered about 5% of the universe.

Yet, despite knowing about just a fraction of what’s out there, we’ve still managed to discover galaxies billions of light-years away from Earth.

This graphic by Pablo Carlos Budassi provides a logarithmic map of the entire known universe, using data by researchers at Princeton University and updated as of May 2022.

How Does the Map Work?

Before diving in, it’s worth touching on a few key details about the map.

First off, it’s important to note that the celestial objects shown on this map are not shown to scale. If it was made to scale with sizes relative to how we see them from Earth, nearly all of the objects would be miniscule dots (except the Moon, the Sun, and some nebulae and galaxies).

Secondly, each object’s distance from the Earth is measured on a logarithmic scale, which increases exponentially, in order to fit in all the data.

Within our Solar System, the map’s scale spans astronomical units (AU), roughly the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Beyond, it grows to measure millions of parsecs, with each one of those equal to 3.26 light-years, or 206,000 AU.

Exploring the Map

The map highlights a number of different celestial objects, including: