What Color is the Universe?

Posted by on July 23, 2014

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.

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Post by Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.