On most maps of the solar system, you can expect the eight canonical planets (and whatever Pluto is) to follow the orange sun like polite little ducklings in a row. In the new map of the solar system of the biologist Eleanor Lutz, which shows the exact orbits of more than 18,000 objects near the sky, one is lucky, if one finds Mars at all.
Lutz is a graduate student at the University of Washington, spending her evenings transforming public records into highly detailed works of art. In her new project, the Atlas of Space, she has lent more than a decade of data compiled by NASA, the US Geological Survey, and other science organizations to create some of the most accurate maps of the solar system that fit on her bedroom wall , [1
The map shown here, which Lutz published on its website on June 10, was compiled from orbital data from a dozen different public databases. Beyond most textbook space maps, this Guide to the Cosmos shows the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune in beautiful, chaotic details.
"This map shows each asteroid at its exact location on New Year's Eve 1999", Lutz wrote on their site. "This includes everything we know about a diameter of more than 10 kilometers – approximately 10,000 asteroids – and 8,000 random objects of unknown size. "
This is our In the coming weeks, Lutz also plans to share some more intimate views of Earth's next cosmic neighbors, including topographic maps of Mercury and Venus, which may not take you into another world, but they'll probably invade you
Want a taste? Look at the Kuiper belt (the outermost ring of green asteroids) at the bottom of the map.
"You may notice that Pluto is in Neptune's orbit "It turns out that in about 10% of the cases, Pluto is closer to the sun than Neptune."
Originally published on Live Science .