If you were to shrink the entire universe to fit inside your computer screen, it would look a little something like this:
Using Photoshop and logarithmic maps created by scientists at Princeton, artist and musician Pablo Carlos Budassi combined images from NASA with original sketches to create this stunning illustration that captures the unimaginably vast observable universe.
Our sun and solar system are at the center of the gorgeous disc of color. Encircling them are the inner and outer planets; the Kuiper belt; Oort cloud; Alpha Centauri star; Perseus Arm; Milky Way galaxy; other nearby galaxies including the Andromeda galaxy; the cosmic web; cosmic microwave radiation; and, at the very edges of the image, quark-gluon plasma produced by the Big Bang.
Budassi told Tech Insider that he got the idea to create the complex image while creating hexaflaxagons (neat paper hexagons that reveal different faces as they are flexed) for his son’s birthday.
“When I was drawing hexaflexagons … I started drawing central views of the cosmos and the solar system,” Budassi said. “That day the idea of a logarithmic view came and in the next days I was able to [assemble] it with Photoshop using images from NASA and some textures created by my own.”
As ScienceAlert notes, logarithmic maps are very helpful in the visualization of very large areas as the scale of the map decreases as you move outwards from the center. In other words, the objects in the middle of the map -- in this case, the solar system -- are much larger in scale than those at the edges.
For a more immersive experience, click here to see a zoomable, full-sized version of Budassi's image.