Sanity Break

Take a virtual tour through 400,000 charted galaxies.

No, that isn’t a field of stars. It’s a field of galaxies containing trillions of stars.

via Engadget

The stargazers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have released a huge three-dimensional map of outer space, a core part of its six-year survey of the skies. Encompassing four billion light-years cubed, the researchers hope to use the map to retrace the movements of the universe through the last six billion years.

Brought to you by federal grants for educational institutions and the Department of Energy Office of Science.

Update — I scheduled this post this afternoon before the news broke that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, died at the age of 82. RIP

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  • muselet

    I was 12 and glued to the TV set when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the Moon. I’d fairly recently built an Apollo model kit and knew what parts of the LEM Walter Cronkite was talking about and, being a science fiction/space geek, I had a feel—or thought I had—for what could go wrong. And nothing (for values of nothing less than everything going pear-shaped) did.

    By all accounts, Armstrong was a reluctant hero and an entirely decent man who preferred to live his life as far from the limelight as he could.

    From Mary Slosson, Reuters:

    He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon’s surface for thousands of years. “I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up,” he said.

    His family said in a statement: “The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

    I intend to, first chance I get.

    Ad astra.

    (By the way, that is a gorgeous video, Ashby. Thanks for posting it.)

    –alopecia

    EDITED to correct an embarrassing misspelling.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Really cool, Ashby…..thanks for posting it!

  • Draxiar

    I’ve been stargazing my whole life. It always filled my imagination with the possibilites of what could be out there. Made me feel really small…but also amazingly unique.