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The American Museum of Natural History has created a wonderful visual experience: “The Known Universe”. This short video takes viewers…

…from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.

Or, if you’re a Douglas Adams fan, you’d know it better as the Total Perspective Vortex. Enjoy (or run screaming, if you’ve got an overblown ego):

In truth, it’s still really just a superficial look – I doubt the human brain can even begin to understand the truly awesome distances and timeframes involved, and a 5 minute film on a few inches of screen is never going to immerse you in it. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best things I’ve seen this week (thanks to @LeeBillings for the heads-up).