Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

June 30, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

The Universe Evolves
Credit: A. Kudlicki (CAMK) & G. Evrard (Michigan) et al., The Virgo Consortium

Explanation: Scroll right and watch the universe evolve. Above is a computer simulation depicting the evolution of our entire universe. On the far left is a slice of the universe soon after the Big Bang - over 10 billion years ago. As time progresses toward the right, the initially smooth universe can be seen becoming more and more clumpy. The vertex near the far right marks the present day. The largest slice of the universe actually surveyed is simulated to the vertex's right. This artificial universe, called a Hubble Volume, was designed to mimic what humanity might see were we to have powerful enough telescopes. By comparing different computer simulations to reality, we might be able to better tell what kind of universe we live in.

Tomorrow's picture: A Starburst Galaxy

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.