The Network Behind the

Cosmic Web

Understanding the Cosmic Web

The concept of the cosmic web—viewing the universe as a set of discrete galaxies held together by gravity—is deeply ingrained in cosmology. Yet, little is known about architecture of this network or its characteristics. Our research used data from 24,000 galaxies to construct multiple models of the cosmic web, offering complex blueprints for how galaxies fit together. These three interactive visualizations help us imagine the cosmic web, show us differences between the models, and give us insight into the fundamental structure of the universe.




Immerse yourself in a network of 24,000 galaxies with more than 100,000 connections. By selecting a model, panning and zooming, and filtering different, you can delve into three distinct models of the cosmic web.


The visualization offers three main options for interacting with the cosmic web:

Select a Model

Cosmic Web Interface model selection

By clicking a model from the side panel, you can switch what type of connections bind galaxies together.

Pan & Zoom

Cosmic Web Interface zoom and pan

You can rotate and zoom into the model.


Cosmic Web Interface filter

By clicking and dragging a region in the histogram, you change the number of connections per galaxy.


Fixed Length Model

All galaxies within a set distance of l are connected by an undirected link.

Fixed Length Model

Varying Length Model

The length of each link is proportional to the “size” of the galaxy, l = a Ri1/2

Varying Length Model

Nearest Neighbors Model

Each galaxy is connected to its closest neighbors with a directed links. In this model the length of each link depends on the distance to the nearest galaxy.

Nearest Neighbors Model