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Concept Animations

Concept Animations > Geometry of the Universe

Image 1 (Top) from animation of WMAP receiving three space geometry scenerios: Open, Flat, and Closed.
Image 2 (Bottom) from animation of three space geometry scenerios: Open, Flat, and Closed.
Geometry of the Universe

The amount of dark matter and energy in the universe plays a crucial role in determining the geometry of space. The density of matter and energy plays a crucial role in determining the geometry of space. If the universe is less than the critical density, then space is open and negatively curved like the surface of a saddle. If the density exactly equals the critical density, then space is flat like a sheet of paper. If the density is greater than critical density, then space is closed and positively curved like the surface of a sphere. The Inflationary Theory, an extension of the Big Bang theory, predicts that density is very close to the critical density, producing a flat universe, like a sheet of paper.

See the the Universe and Geometry sections for more on this subject.

Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team

Duration: 36.0 seconds

Available animation formats:
320 x 240 (15fps) QT (437 KB)
320 x 240 (15fps) MP4 (1 MB)
320 x 240 (15fps) WMV (1.14 MB)
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720 x 486 (30fps) QT (12.6 MB)
1920 x 1080 (30fps) QT (100.2 MB)

Top Image:
320 x 240 JPG (24 KB)
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720 x 540 PNG (269 KB)

Bottom Image:
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320 x 231 JPG (23 KB)
640 x 462 PNG (165 KB)
1296 x 936 JPG (203 KB)

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  • Page Updated: Friday, 08-17-2012
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