Ponder The Known Universe

In 2009 the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) debuted The Known Universe for an exhibit at Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. AMNH and Hayden Planetarium astrophysicists resourced Digital Universe Atlas to produce five and a half minutes capable of unfurling the sternest brow. Our world would be a better place if everyone stopped talking long enough to ponder a space video before bed.


12 thoughts on “Ponder The Known Universe

  1. Stunning.

    Help me out, Notes. I know cosmologists say the universe is flat, but i’ve never been able to understand how, exactly, it is flat when we see it all around us. Can you wrap your head around this?

    And my learned friend, I have another book out. Pop over to my blog. Hopefully, it’ll make you laugh.

    • On my way to your blog. πŸ™‚ And no, no, no! The universe isn’t flat – geneticfractals https://geneticfractals.wordpress.com/ gave my perceived universe dimension several years ago when he asked I ponder murmuration of Starlings. We were discussing the 4th dimension, I was on board but needed a nudge in the right direction. Oh man, his response blew me away.In a nutshell – the flock undulates in inexplicable unison, we are one bird, every other bird represents another dimension in space and time.The universe isn’t flat, murmuration prevents us from seeing the bird at our wing πŸ™‚

    • John, my understanding is that the universe is flat as opposed to curved. Flat means “straight lines” in this context. When you go for a walk next, you will notice that a lake is flat. But if the lake is big enough, as in the size of the pacific, you know that the surface is curved. That’s what we’re talking about, flat vs curved. The same happens in 3 and higher dimensions. Like your house. Is it approximately cubic with flat walls and roofs? Sure. Unless you live in a really cool house. Now image a house the size of the universe, are the walls still flat? Or are they spherical like the Pacific ocean?

      Currently, there is no evidence that the universe is not flat, i.e. surfaces in any dimension are flat and not curved. It is possible that the universe is slightly curved and that has some geometrical consequences, as you can imagine. Thanks to Einstein these consequence would affect time and gravity and impact things like the expansion of the universe.

  2. This video had me in trance, honestly. The perspective encompasses all that there is and has ever been. It triggered a mind experiment. When you stand outside on a clear night and look at the stars, photons from every star, the reflection of its planets, the galaxies, all the way to the birth of the universe are hitting your eye. It isn’t sensitive enough for you to see but they are there. Imagine that. A photon from the beginning of time. On your retina.

    I saw your exchange with John. By coincidence, yesterday I submitted a paper to arXiv (where most scientists submit there papers) and blogged about it on http://www.geneticfrctals.org with the title “fractal space”. In the paper I formulate fractals and the space around them at any dimension. Although cryptic in a math sense, the higher dimensional maths is beautiful. Once you cut the shackles of 3 dimensions, you can learn to see infinite dimensions and roam around them as if navigating the universe of the unseen. We can only see 3 dimensions but we can use that sight to pick out any 3 dimensions in that universe of inifinity. How cool is that.

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