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Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ashLeonard Cohenburn somethingmore quotes
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data visualization + art
buy artwork The Universe - Superclusters and Voids by Martin Krzywinski
THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE | Put it on your wall. (buy artwork / see all my art)
If you like space, you will love this. The 2017 π Day art imagines the digits of π as a star catalogue with constellations of extinct animals and plants. The work is featured in the article Pi in the Sky at the Scientific American SA Visual blog.
If you like space, you'll love my the 12,000 billion light-year map of clusters, superclusters and voids. Find the biggest nothings in Boötes and Eridanus.The largest map there is shows the location of voids and galaxy superclusters in our visible universe.

from an undefined
create (a place)
an account
of us
— Viorica Hrincu

Sometimes when you stare at the void, the void sends you a poem.

Universe—Superclusters and Voids

Universe - Superclusters and Voids / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
The Universe — Superclustesr and Voids. The two supergalactic hemispheres showing Abell clusters (blue), superclusters (magenta) and voids (black) within a distance of 6,000 million light-years from the Milky Way.

The average density of the universe is about `10 \times 10^{-30} \text{ g/cm}^3` or about 6 protons per cubic meter. This should put some perspective in what we mean when we speak about voids as "underdense regions".


Before you delve into the background material for the map, calm the nerves and awaken the imagination with these space-themed tunes.

Perfect to listen to while perusing the map ... or the terrain.

1 · Music

2 Wicky by Hooverphonic (Live at Koningin Elisabethzaal 2012)

Space walk by Lemon Jelly

Exploration by Karminsky Experience Inc.

100 Billion Stars by Lux

Journey through the Boötes Void by Scott Lawlor

Ok, now let's get to it.

2 · Combined and parsed catalogues

The individual catalogues of objects (stars, clusters, superclusters, voids) shown on the map are available as a parsed single file.

      n TYPE
  ----- ------------
      2 quasar
   1024 supercluster
   2555 void
   5250 abell
   9096 hr
  18707 zwicky

Each element is represented by a single line and all objects start with the same fields:

  radec RA DEC                               
  z REDSHIFT d DISTANCE(Mly)                

For some objects the NAME is blank ("-").

In addition to these fields, each object type has additional information.

Abell cluters have the number of galaxies in them (N) and the IDs of the superclusters to which they belong listed.

abell ... count N mscc/sscc ID1,ID2,...

Superclusters have the number of galaxies in them (N), their size (SIZE) and the two constellation of the supercluster's Abell's clusters (same as CONSTELLATION if the supercluster's Abell clusters are all in the same constellation).

supercluster ... count N size SIZE(Mly) con_compound CON_COMPOUND

Voids have their size void ... size SIZE

The stars, taken from the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars, do not have a distance or redshift but have a magnitude

hr ... mag MAGNITUDE

3 · Individual catalogues

These are the individual catalogues from Vizier used in the map and to create the single parsed file above.

3.1 · Stars

V/50 Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., Hoffleit+, 1991

3.2 · Abell clsuters

VII/110A Rich Clusters of Galaxies, Abell+, 1989

VII/4A Abell and Zwicky Clusters of Galaxies, Abell+, 1974

3.3 · Abell redshifts

VII/56 Redshifts for Abell Clusters, Sarazin+, 1982

J/APJ/365/66 Redshifts of a sample of distant Abell clusters, Huchra+, 1990

VII/165A Measured Redshifts of Abell Clusters of Galaxies, Andernach, 1991

VII/177 Redshifts and Velocity Dispersions for Abell Clusters, Struble+, 1991

J/APJS/96/343 Redshifts of rich clusters of galaxies, Quintana+, 1995

J/A+A/310/8 The ESO Nearby Abell Cluster Survey I., Katgert+, 1996

J/A+A/310/31 The ESO Nearby Abell Cluster Survey. II., Mazure+, 1996

J/APJS/126/1 Abell clusters photometry, Quintana+, 2000

J/AJ/126/119 Optical and radio data for rich Abell clusters, Rizza+, 2003

3.4 · Zwicky clusters

VII/190 Zwicky Galaxy Catalog, Zwicky+, 1968

J/PASP/111/438 Updated Zwicky catalog (UZC), Falco+, 1999

3.5 · Superclusters

J/MNRAS/445/4073 Two catalogues of superclusters, Chow-Martinez+, 2014

3.6 · Voids

J/APJ/744/82 Catalog of cosmic voids from the SDSS-DR7, Varela+, 2012

J/MNRAS/440/1248 SDSS DR7 voids and superclusters, Nadathur+, 2014

J/APJ/835/161 A cosmic void catalog of SDSS DR12 BOSS galaxies, Mao+, 2017

3.7 · Constellations

VI/42 Identification of a Constellation From Position, Roman, 1987

4 · Literature and online references

Good places to start your exploration of the Universe.

4.1 · Stars

Hoffleit, D. & Warren, Jr., W.H. The Bright Star Catalog, 5th Revised Edition (Preliminary Version) (1991)

4.2 · Constellations

Roman N.G. Identification of a constellation from a position Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 99 695–699 (1987)

Constellation list

To determine constellation shapes, I originally started with a list by Marc van der Sluys

BSC (Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars) constellation edges by Marc van der Sluys

However, many of these constellations were not the asterisms sanctioned by the IAU. I therefore corrected all the constellation shapes by manually examining the IAU map and cross-referencing the stars to the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars. Ugh.

IAU Constellation shapes as edges between BSC stars (Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars) by Martin Krzywinski

For more details about the constellations see my IAU Constellation Shape Resources.

4.3 · Clusters

Abell clusters [Wikipedia]

Abell, G.O. The distribution of rich clusters of galaxies. A catalog of 2712 rich clusters found on the National Geographic Society Palomar Observatory Sky Survey The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 3 211–88 (1958)

LC 1101: supergiant elliptical galaxy [Wikipedia]

Abell 2029 galaxy cluster [Wikipedia]

4.4 · Superclusters

The universe within 2 billion light years. by Richard Powell

4.5 · Voids

Finelli F. et al. Supervoids in the WISE–2MASS catalogue imprinting cold spots in the cosmic microwave background Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 455 (2016)

Kopylov A.I. & Kopylova F.G. Search for streaming motion of galaxy clusters around the Giant Void Astronomy and Astrophysics 382 389–396 (2002)

Linder U. et al. The structure of supervoids. I. Void hierarchy in the Northern Local Supervoid. Astronomy and Astrophysics 329–347 (1995)

El-Ad H. & Piran T. Voids in the large-scale structure The Astrophysical Journal 491 421–435 (1997)

List of voids [Wikipedia]

Giant void [Wikipedia]

Boötes void [Wikipedia]

Northern local supervoid [Wikipedia]

Southern local supervoid [Wikipedia]

Eridanus supervoid (CMBR Cold spot) [Wikipedia]

4.6 · Quasars

J1120+0641 [Wikipedia]

Mortlock D.J. et al A luminous quasar at a redshift of z = 7.085 474 616–619 (2011)

Bañados E. et al An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral universe at a redshift of 7.5 Nature 553 (2018)

J1342+0928 [Wikipedia]

4.7 · Coordinate systems

Celestial coordinate system [Wikipedia]

NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database: Coordinate Transformation & Galactic Extinction Calculator

RA DEC flexible converter by Jan Skowron

4.8 · Redshift

How far out in the universe can we see? by Harald Lang

Redshift and distance calculator by Edward Wright

Wright, E.L. The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 118 1711–1715 (2006)

Loeb, A. Long-term future of extragalactic astronomy Physical Review D 65 047301.1–047301.4 (2002)

Bennett, C.L. et al The 1% Concordance Hubble Constant Astrophysical Journal 794 (2014)

news + thoughts

Annals of Oncology cover

Wed 14-09-2022

My cover design on the 1 September 2022 Annals of Oncology issue shows 570 individual cases of difficult-to-treat cancers. Each case shows the number and type of actionable genomic alterations that were detected and the length of therapies that resulted from the analysis.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
An organic arrangement of 570 individual cases of difficult-to-treat cancers showing genomic changes and therapies. Apperas on Annals of Oncology cover (volume 33, issue 9, 1 September 2022).

Pleasance E et al. Whole-genome and transcriptome analysis enhances precision cancer treatment options (2022) Annals of Oncology 33:939–949.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Annals of Oncology 570 cancer cohort cover (volume 33, issue 9, 1 September 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Survival analysis—time-to-event data and censoring

Fri 05-08-2022

Love's the only engine of survival. —L. Cohen

We begin a series on survival analysis in the context of its two key complications: skew (which calls for the use of probability distributions, such as the Weibull, that can accomodate skew) and censoring (required because we almost always fail to observe the event in question for all subjects).

We discuss right, left and interval censoring and how mishandling censoring can lead to bias and loss of sensitivity in tests that probe for differences in survival times.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Survival analysis—time-to-event data and censoring. (read)

Dey, T., Lipsitz, S.R., Cooper, Z., Trinh, Q., Krzywinski, M & Altman, N. (2022) Points of significance: Survival analysis—time-to-event data and censoring. Nature Methods 19:906–908.

3,117,275,501 Bases, 0 Gaps

Sun 21-08-2022

See How Scientists Put Together the Complete Human Genome.

My graphic in Scientific American's Graphic Science section in the August 2022 issue shows the full history of the human genome assembly — from its humble shotgun beginnings to the gapless telomere-to-telomere assembly.

Read about the process and methods behind the creation of the graphic.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
3,117,275,501 Bases, 0 Gaps. Text by Clara Moskowitz (Senior Editor), art direction by Jen Christiansen (Senior Graphics Editor), source: UCSC Genome Browser.

See all my Scientific American Graphic Science visualizations.

Anatomy of SARS-Cov-2

Tue 31-05-2022

My poster showing the genome structure and position of mutations on all SARS-CoV-2 variants appears in the March/April 2022 issue of American Scientist.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Deadly Genomes: Genome Structure and Size of Harmful Bacteria and Viruses (zoom)

An accompanying piece breaks down the anatomy of each genome — by gene and ORF, oriented to emphasize relative differences that are caused by mutations.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Deadly Genomes: Genome Structure and Size of Harmful Bacteria and Viruses (zoom)

Cancer Cell cover

Sat 23-04-2022

My cover design on the 11 April 2022 Cancer Cell issue depicts depicts cellular heterogeneity as a kaleidoscope generated from immunofluorescence staining of the glial and neuronal markers MBP and NeuN (respectively) in a GBM patient-derived explant.

LeBlanc VG et al. Single-cell landscapes of primary glioblastomas and matched explants and cell lines show variable retention of inter- and intratumor heterogeneity (2022) Cancer Cell 40:379–392.E9.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Cancer Cell kaleidoscope cover (volume 40, issue 4, 11 April 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Nature Biotechnology cover

Sat 23-04-2022

My cover design on the 4 April 2022 Nature Biotechnology issue is an impression of a phylogenetic tree of over 200 million sequences.

Konno N et al. Deep distributed computing to reconstruct extremely large lineage trees (2022) Nature Biotechnology 40:566–575.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Nature Biotechnology phylogenetic tree cover (volume 40, issue 4, 4 April 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

© 1999–2022 Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA