Viridian Note 00293: Cosmic Spectrum GreenBruce Sterling [email@example.com]
Key concepts: color of entire universe
Attention Conservation Notice: May be too cosmic for some temperaments.
Entries in the Enron Logo Contest:
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.
Source: Reuters, Deborah Zabarenko
"They Have Seen the Universe and It's Pale Green
By Deborah Zabarenko
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) == Red giants? White dwarfs? Blue
heaven? No. It turns out the universe is pale green.
"Not plain green, though, according to Ivan Baldry, an
astronomer who worked to find the average color of all the
light in the universe.
"It's pale turquoise,' Baldry said on Thursday at the
meeting of the American Astronomical Society in
Washington. 'Turquoise of course is green-blue. It's
slightly greener. It's between these two, pale turquoise
and medium aquamarine. I'd say just slightly greener than
"Baldry and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins
University have settled on the calling this universal
shade cosmic spectrum green.
"Finding the color was a byproduct of an examination
of some 200,000 galaxies to determine the rate of star
birth as the universe aged.
"'This color's a whimsical intellectual exercise, but
the star formation history is astronomical research,'
Baldry said. (((The Viridian question is: what color is
the Universe trending toward? Viridian!)))
"Most astronomers agree that the pace of star
formation has slackened after an earlier stellar baby
"Research presented by NASA scientists earlier this
week indicated that the star-forming peak may have
occurred earlier that previously believed, very soon after
the cosmic Big Bang that many scientists believe gave
birth to the universe. (((Aging universe increasingly
full of brownfields, Wexelblat disaster areas, involuntary
"Baldry and his colleagues worked with data from the
Australian 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey of more than 200,000
galaxies at a distance of 2 billion to 3 billion light-
years from Earth. A light-year is about 6 trillion miles,
the distance light travels in a year. (((As they teach
you in journalism class, some innocent reader doesn't yet
know that simple truism, and will be really excited to
learn it. "SIX TRILLION MILES!? Jeez, Dad, that's a long
"By giving a numeric value to the colors of the different galaxies, adding them together and then averaging them, they came up with their light green color.
"BLUE TO GREEN TO RED
"That color lies near the midpoint of a cosmic spectrum
the researchers created. This spectrum shows the universe
beginning with a blue period, moving through green and
eventually getting red. (((How long will the Viridian
Period last? Comes with guaranteed expiration date!)))
"'As there are no new young stars formed, the
universe will get redder,' Baldry told reporters who
gathered around his poster in a huge exhibition hall.
"We are now at about the middle of the cosmic spectrum
in terms of color, though Baldry did not guess where we
might be in terms of the universe's lifespan.
"'The reason the color's changing is because the rate
of stars forming is changing,' he said. 'We're in a stage
of a declining rate of star formation. More stars were
forming in the past than at the present time.'
"The cosmic green color is what scientists believe the
human eye would see if the light wasn't broken up into its
component parts. But there is no way any human could
actually see this. (((Speak for yourself, chump.)))
"'The only way to see it is if you saw all the
universe from the same distance away and it was not
moving,' Baldry said. (((And that is a problem for you?
Hey man, Tim Leary used to do that six times on a three
"Baldry and his co-author, Karl Glazebrook, have both joked about possible marketing opportunities for the new color, such as color-of-the-universe T-shirts or coffee mugs. (((For Viridians that prospect is no joke. Get right after it, somebody. We'll link to your website.))) But Baldry allowed, 'I don't know if you can patent a color, that's not our business. ... We haven't actually been to a paint shop yet to see if they have any fancy names for this color.'
(((Here it is == pace your computer monitor, that is:)))
"'It's not my favourite colour,' says Glazebrook. 'It's on the greenish side of white, a subtle colour.' For any computer buffs wishing to put the colour on their desktops, the red-green-blue values you will need are 0.269, 0.388 and 0.342."
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