Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Color of the Universe

In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, gathered light from 200,000 galaxies near and far, out to several billion light years away. Then they processed the light and broke it into various colors, much the way a prism turns white sunlight into a rainbow.

They averaged the color values for all the light and converted them into a color compatible with the perception of the human eye. Their original announcement was that the color of the universe was a pale green, sort of minty or seafoam. Cool!

Then they realized that there were errors in the calculations and re-did the math. In the final analysis, it seems the general color of the universe is… (drum rolllll!) pale beige. Thud. (I'd like to be able to use that upside-down exclamation mark they use in Spanish. ¡Oh, there it is!)

Glazebrook said, “It looks like beige. I don't know what else to call it. I would welcome suggestions.'' It seems that suggestions were forthcoming, a vote was taken and the official color of the universe is Cosmic Latte.  According to Wikipedia, Cappuccino Cosmico received the most votes, but Glazebrook and Baldry preferred Cosmic Latte. My favorite suggestion is Skyvory, although Univeige is pretty good too.


  1. you brought some wonderful chuckles to our breakfast table!!!(don't know how to do the upside down thingy) Thanks for the yuks. Maria (and Rick)

  2. Wow, I like the idea of this.... the universe is neutral!

  3. Always happy to provide a smile!
    And... I always appreciate another perspective! Thanks Carole. Good thought. :-)