See this ring? It's simply made, highly polished and appears to be almost perfect but for one small speck of dust or a flaw in the metal. Look carefully and you will see what I mean.

When magnified, this speck is not an imperfection at all but a model of the known universe cleverly inserted into the ring itself.

The Universe Ring was inspired by the writings of the great British physicist, Stephen Hawking and loosely based on the anthropic principle.  The design team to22  likes to put "our daily pursuits into perspective and reminds us that we are always a part of something bigger."

You can see it looks like NASA's diagram of the model of the origin and expansion of spacetime and all that it contains.

Don't know anything about dark energy, spacetime, quantum fluctuations and the big bang theory? You're in good company. I don't either but the ring is cool even if you cannot see the model with the naked eye.

The world's most complete and up to date four-dimensional map of the known universe, the Digital Universe Atlas is shown in this amazing video.  The atlas is maintained by the astrophysicists from the American Museum of Natural History. The film was made for an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, currently on at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through to May 2010.

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