In the words of spectacularly wacky Douglas Adams (‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy’), “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggling big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
All hyperbole aside, Adams’ words ring true. Space *IS* big. It takes light nearly a year to travel from one end of our solar system to the other alone. Because of size and technology restraints, we’ll never be able to travel from one end of the universe to the other in a single human lifetime. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take a tour of the observable universe at warp speed.
This GIF (video can be found below), which uses data from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (Gama) catalogue, does just that. It allows us to visualize how it might look if we were able to see all known galaxies in the observable universe, and, as you can see, it’s a bit dizzying.
GAMA, more specifically, is a project used to plot large-scale structure points, which are then used to shed light on the formation and evolution of galaxies. In order to utilize its data for the visual, the team had to scale the size of each galaxy up significantly, or this would more closely resemble Hubble’s famous ultra deep field image.
When the video was released, the team had this to say: