Next & Last Stop: Omicron Centauri.


Though I’ve never ridden the London Tube, I ride the New York City subway system all the time. So, this graphic by Samuel Arbesman, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard studying computational sociology, hit me like a little blitz of genius.

It’s a map of our Milky Way galaxy, done in the style of those in the UK underground trains system, published by Arbesman’s imaginary “Milky Way Transit Authority.” He says his map is

an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the ‘important’ sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.

Since you’re looking, the red arm, in the Orion belt, pictures Sol, the scientific name of our own star, the Sun. Heading left, the Orion Nebula is the next stop, 1,344 light years away. In other words, traveling 186,282 miles a second, it would take you over 1300 years to get there. Better pack a lunch.



1 comment so far ↓

#1 Freddy Martinez on 02.17.10 at 11:17 pm

I’m not sure…the nearest star is Alpha Centauri. ->

How are the “stops” determined? Either way, this graphic is pretty cool.

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