The visible Universe in one photo

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>*my understanding that the universe is uniform on a large scale*

Correct. The universe is essentially uniform. Here’s the [Wikipedia article on the Observable Universe](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe).

I don’t know the source of OP’s image, and I don’t think it shows a panorama of *all* space visible from Earth, but if it did, then I suppose it would *technically* showing the visible (from earth, at least) universe, but that seems kind of misleading to me. A better representation of the visible universe might be [this](http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/2MASS_LSS_chart-NEW_Nasa.jpg). The Milky Way Galaxy (our galaxy) obscures our view of much of the Observable Universe, and it is a part of that universe, but the big “band” in the photos that show a “from-Earth” view are a bit misleading in the sense that that band and center are not the center of the Universe, but rather, an edge-on view of a nearby object which just happens to be near us, and which as a result, looks disproportionately large and important from our perspective. [This might offer a more accurate understanding of what the Universe looks like](http://astro.uchicago.edu/cosmus/projects/sloangalaxies/).

It can be difficult to understand the scale involved here, so [here’s a little chart that gives a sense of the organization and orders of magnitude involved between the level of Earth and the level of the observable universe](http://www.visioninconsciousness.org/Science-Cosm_10%20Cosm-Univ/Earth%27s_Location_in_the_Universe_SMALLER%20-0_%28JPEG%29.jpg).

The other thing tricky about the term “Observable Universe” is that there is a big part of the universe that we will never be able to see with any technology due to the constraints of the speed of light, and the expansion of the universe. However, no matter how large the Universe is, it is still believed to be essentially uniform.

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