“I liken the Digital Universe to the invention of the globe,” says Curator Ben R. Oppenheimer, an astrophysicist at the museum. “When Mercator invented the globe, everyone wanted one. He had back-orders for years. It gave everyone a new perspective on where they live in relation to others, and we hope that the Digital Universe does the same on a grander, cosmic scale.”

More info on the AMNH website. Via Kottke.


December 18, 2009


This is really exciting, amazing, stunning at the same time to me. I always like to think about how and where we are positioned in the universe but this video totally overwhelmed me.
And beside that, it´s the best thing I saw this year!

Awesome. Used to keep a cutting in my wallet (lost now) about the spatial relation between planets eg if the sun is a beach ball, earth is a pea three miles away, that kind of thing :) Always good for a bit of perspective when you’re freaking about something daft.

Overwhelming’s right, Sebastian. Earth is but a spec of dust on the horizon.

Luke, for me, perspective like this—seeing how vast the universe is—is almost as valuable as comparing first world to third—seeing what we have, and what others don’t.

Aaron, Arlen, glad you liked.

Wow, there not much to say. We are just a small small part of mineral in a big big grain of sand, that makes a large desert that we may never get to cross.


So, can we look into a speck of sand and see another world in there, as well…is that what infinity is…the universe goes on and on both ways? Its truly mind-boggling!!

The journey from the cosmic horizon, all the way back to earth, was the part that really gave me a feel for the scale of it all. Never really saw that way until now. Good post.

I just caught this on Neatorama the other day, as well. Good stuff!

Another good one is the opening sequence to the film ‘Contact’, with Jodi Foster, based on the book by Carl Sagan. It’s quite breathtaking.

That is an amazing video! But to think that all of our galaxy and this amazing universe started by an explosion is absurd. If you think of how our moon orbits around the earth mathematically perfect. And that our earth travels around the sun mathematically perfect every time. All the planets in our solar system do the same, all the planets and stars in our galaxy the same, is there really any question that every thing we know was planned, not some cosmic accident?

If you want to learn more about the inaccuracies of evolution check out this site: http://www.icr.org/


I really enjoyed the known universe video. I was wondering when someone would finally put everything into perspective with all of the computer power we have today.

It is ironic that with all that we know and all of the complexity of life and matter on this planet, even the sheer awe of life it’s self.

How so many can attribute it all to a random act such as a big bang or even evolution. With the hours that you spend on designing a simple logo, thought, process, skill…no one will ever convince me that a grand creator “designer” is not behind it and in control of it all.

In simple comparison to space and time, the speed at which light travels and more…to think otherwise or to somehow feel that because in the short span of human history some 6,000 years “not even a blip” science “our worthless science” can give us answers outside the realm of spirituality?

In 70-80+ years a normal human lifespan for anyone to think differently is an awesome display of arrogance!

Very much enjojed watching that video, great find and post
I agree with Andrew i also hope that i am around to view our Earth from space… stunning

great find i agree. nice execution.i just think the edit is boring.
what eames did for ibm is still one of the best when it comes to that zoom-in-zoom-out thing.

Wow. I think it’s safe to say that my mind has been successfully blown. It does make me wonder about the whole extra terrestrial idea. Seeing how tiny Earth really is in the grand scheme of things, surely, we can’t be the only spec in the universe with intelligent life forms. Right?

I feel like, this being your design blog, I ought to comment on the spectacular visuals, but I feel like that goes without saying. Great find, David!

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