"I'd like to think this is the first of more ventures along the same line," said University of Hawaii astrophysicist R. Brent Tully, who was treated to a public presentation of the work for his 70th birthday, in Paris, a week ago.
"I think we're learning how to do it.
I think the next time around we'll do it better."
worked with a team including Helene Courtois
of the University of Lyon
, who narrates, and whose son, Jules, accompanies her
with an original piano composition.
"I don't know anybody else who's tried to put something on paper," Tully
(Tully is best known for the Tully-Fisher relation, which correlates a spiral galaxy's luminosity and rotational speed, and was published with J. Richard Fisher in 1977.
"We actually don't know how big the whole universe is," said Tully
"What we talk about is the universe within our horizon, the travel time of light, and that's been traveling to us since 14 billion years - actually, in that time the universe has expanded, so we have access to something like 40 billion light-years."
But that's just what we could potentially see with all our sophisticated space-based telescopes and massive terrestrial arrays.
"We're still picking at the depths of space," said Tully
So what Tully and his
team have boxed is the local universe, represented in terms better suited for an expanding universe - velocities.
"In the maps that you're seeing there, that's really only going out a little beyond 3,000 kilometers per second," he
Though that translates to about 120 million light-years, consider that the speed of light is 100 times that outermost velocity.
"So we're only going 1% of the way out," said Tully