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What Color is the Universe?

By on July 23, 2014 at 9:33 am - 3 Comments

Image: NASA, ESA, and E. Perlman
Image: NASA, ESA, and E. Perlman

What color is the universe? A cursory glance at the night sky would tell you it’s black or, at least, very dark. If you’re clever, maybe you’d say it’s actually white, because that’s the color you get when you combine all the colors of the spectrum together.

In 2002, astronomers Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry actually discovered (more or less) the color of the universe. Their complete findings, titled The Cosmic Spectrum and the Color of the Universe, can be found here.

So what’s the color? I present to you Cosmic Latte:

Cosmic Latte

Cosmic Latte

In their own words, this color is what “an observer would see if they had the Universe in a box, and could see all the light at once.” None of the light would be moving, as they “de-redshifted” the light before combining it, and the light would have to be represented as something that takes account of our (limited) human vision. And what we get is this beige-white color.

In their original analysis, the color they arrived at was more of a turquoise- or green-white, but this was later changed in their 2002 analysis. In truth, the color of the universe is constantly changing.

About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a freelance writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Follow him on Twitter @Dimentoid or on Google+, and be sure to like Stranger Dimensions on Facebook!
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  • MysteryHunter

    The whole putting the universe in a box things reminds me of these theories I heard about how the universe will end, The Big crunch, the universe will implode down to the size of a pin, Then there like don’t worry the possible you in another dimension will still be OK, OH yeah that makes me feel so much better.

    • http://www.strangerdimensions.com/ Rob

      That’s like the theory that every time you die, your consciousness moves to another universe so you don’t notice. So every time you’ve come “close” to dying, you actually did die, but you’re still alive because you’ve transferred to another universe and oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed.

      As for the Big Crunch…yeah, if this is accurate, then I guess it’d end up the same color as the beige-white, for an outside observer.

    • MysteryHunter

      Another theory I’ve hear is that every time you are presented with an option and choose you create a new universe. Paper or plastic, paper, BANG, new universe, would you like fries with that, no, BANG, new universe. I’ve created about 12 today.