Artist’s impression of the Milky Way Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
When I started my degree in London years ago one of the first things I had to get to grips with was navigating the Tube. Fortunately it took no time at all, thanks to the world famous tube map, originally designed by Harry Beck in the 1930s. Its ingenious design simplifies the mish-mash of routes across London into an easy to read diagram, allowing the reader to work out how to get where they want to go, easily. It’s with this in mind that Harvard computational sociologist Samuel Arbesman has come up with the “Milky Way Transit Authority” map. It’s a tube map style diagram of our home in the Cosmos — the Milky Way. Replete with all the must see stops in the Galaxy (the Orion nebula stop isn’t finished yet and there’s a really strong wind whistling through the P Cygni station) the map neatly shows our place in space. You can download it as a .pdf on Samuel’s webpage (.pdf link here), but be warned; with news like this cropping up every now and then, a journey on the ‘Orion line’ might take a bit longer than expected!