Straightening up the cosmos

By Phil Plait | May 3, 2012 10:00 am

Oh, what’s an astronomer to do?

Faced with a messy sky, stars scattered here and there, faint and bright, how can we ever measure them?

Perhaps we should turn to artists. Urs Wehrli has an idea of how to fix this situation. Faced with this picture:

He turned it into this one:

Ha! Awesome. It does make it easier to find the galaxies, doesn’t it?

Herr Wehrli has a knack for this; if you like that sky cleaning routine, you should see what he does with alphabet soup, a conifer twig, and a grassy field with sunbathers. He has these pictures, and more, in his books, including The Art of Tidying Up. I gotta say, I dig this guy’s sense of humor.

Pictures credit: Urs Wehrli. Tip o’ the dust pail to Lawrence Cuthbert, via Jeannie Jeannie.

MORE ABOUT: Urs Wehrli

Comments (14)

  1. Chris

    Never heard of him before, but his reversal of entropy artwork does make me smile.

  2. Fritriac

    Urs Wehrli is well known in the german-speaking countries a the male part of the comedy duo “Ursus & Nadeschkin”, where he plays the calm and regular part while Nadeschkin is his chaotic female counterpart. Usually i’m ending up ROTFL when i watch their performances… :)

  3. bd__sd

    Reminds me of a karyogram of chromosomes. Cells are so messy. ;-)

  4. Jéssica

    The Cosmos, and we are living in our “Pale blue dot”.

  5. Dave Jerrard

    I got a kick out of his TED talk that’s currently on NetFlix.

  6. kat wagner

    O yeah, o yeah, That Guy!

  7. Wzrd1

    Actually, I SAW that as an analytical diagram once. Showing period/quantitative measurements.
    That said, I honestly SWEAR, that IS the UPC code for the can of chili I bought today! ;)

  8. Just played with Google Translate to get proper Latin names for the new constellations. I know nothing about the precise connotations of each word, or how to pick the appropriate suffixes, but among the candidates that Google spat out are acervus, caelumrasorio, columna, contus, linea, recta, rectangulum, stela, sublica, truncus, turris, etc.

  9. Crux Australis

    My autistic brain likes this guy *a lot*.

  10. Lars Bruchmann

    Wow the Swiss sure love their organisation! How did he get the people to all lay down in order??

  11. IW

    I’ll put a star against this one….

  12. carbonUnit

    “Mr. Monk and the Night Sky”

  13. Simon

    If we are trying find galaxies among the stars, I believe some good candidates are the ones that look elliptical. I spot several ‘out-of-round’ objects just scanning the columns.

  14. mike burkhart

    This may be good for clasifaction , but it destorys the sense of vastness of the universe.

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