About the Digital Universe main content.

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 neighborhood 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 is offered with two different software applications. OpenSpace is the new venture by AMNH and collaborators to develop a data viewer for the Digital Universe and more, but it requires a fairly powerful computer with a dedicated graphics card. The other software used to view Digital Universe is Partiview, which is open source and will run on almost anything. We provide direct downloads with Partiview here, and offer links to OpenSpace.

Download the Digital Universe