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About the Digital Universe

DU Tully Wide Sloan Galaxies
At the center of the 1 billion light-year grid is the Milky Way and our Sun. Surrounding us are the multi-hued Tully galaxies and the blue sheets of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that stretch out billions of light-years away.

Since 1998, the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium have engaged in the three-dimensional mapping of the Universe. This cosmic cartography brings a new perspective to our place in the Universe and redefines our sense of home. 

From the Solar System out to the edge of the observable universe, the Digital Universe obtains data from scientists and organizations around the world and builds a consistent atlas where disparate data are in context with one another. 

The Digital Universe is distributed via free download and to planetariums around the world through our partnerships with several planetarium technology companies. 

The free version offered on this site is a stripped down version of what you'll find in planetariums. In the downloadable version, we begin at the Sun and are flying among the nearby stars. There is no Solar System. And, the free version comes in two scales, a Milky Way scale, and an Extragalactic scale, for all that lies outside the Milky Way galaxy.

We will continue to update the atlas and as the frontier of knowledge presses forward, so to will the Digital Universe.