Visible Night Sky

Billions of stars light up the sky every night. Many of them shine with much greater intensity than our own Sun. But nearly all of them are so incredibly far away that our eyes cannot see them. The stars are still there though, we stare directly at them, yet they are invisible to us.

The Visible Night Sky shows just over five thousand stars which are perceptible with the naked eye. Nothing new you say? Exactly right. Most night sky maps show us only what we already know, what we can already see. But hit this map with UV light and it reveals a sea of tiny dots. Those are exact locations of another 250 thousand fainter stars in our cosmic vicinity. They were right in front of your eyes the whole time, yet invisible. Same as with the real night sky.

Even though the map looks already crowded under the UV light, it still reveals only a tiny fragment of what is really out there in our galaxy. In fact, there is still 400 000 times more stars in the entire Milky Way than this map shows. And great deal of those stars are much larger than the Sun. Is this still not enough? There are several hundred billions of different galaxies scattered all over the observable universe. And the majority of stars within those galaxies is orbited by their own planets… The universe is gigantic beyond any human comprehension. We are pretty much still at the very beginning of our exploration. A tiny hydrometra barely discovering the boundaries of a little pond at the edge of celestial Nowheresville…

This offset and UV sensitive silk screen combination map was printed in limited edition of 40 sheets. It was picked by the one and only Stamen Design as a part of their curatorial exposition Mapmaker Manifesto for the second Design Biennial at Istanbul, Turkey. It has also been selected for the fourth edition of Atlas of Design – a collection of the “world's most beautiful and intriguing cartographic design”.