"Universe Map" Sculpture [Crystal Nebulae]
  • The Sculpture

Map of the Universe Sculpture] The sculpture is engraved in a 6cm cubic block of optical-quality pure crystal glass. The engraving was performed using a high repetition rate, diode pumped, nano-second YAG laser. The laser scans across the cube and is focused at different depths in the glass to produce a three dimensional distribution of minute (50µm) marks.

    It is very difficult to do justice to the amazing wealth of detail in this intrinsically three-dimensional work of art using two-dimensional pictures, but hopefully this animated view gives some indication of the dynamic range in the sculpture, revealing the complex web of filaments and voids found in the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey.

    [Map of the Universe Sculpture] Each of the approximately 200,000 galaxies in the redshift survey is reproduced as a single mark in the glass. At the scale of this map, even these tiny marks are larger than the galaxies that they represent by around a factor of fifty, but their locations accurately reflect the galaxies' true positions in space. From the arrangement of these points in three dimensions, one can see both the geometry of the survey and the details of the complex distribution of galaxies in the Universe around us.

    The resulting sculpture provides an accurate three-dimensional map of the surveyed sections of the Universe at a scale of approximately one to one billion billion billion (1 : 1 x 1027). It is now officially the smallest-scale commercially-available map ever made!

    This sculpture is available exclusively from Crystal Nebulae for only 39.95 plus 5 postage and packing (including a padded gift box). Details of how to purchase your sculpture, including on-line secure credit card sales, are available here.