|sRGBB (r, g, b)||(255, 248, 231)|
|CMYKH (c, m, y, k)||(0, 2.7, 9.6, 0)|
|HSV (h, s, v)||(40°, 94%, 90%)|
|B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)
Cosmic Latte is a name assigned to the average color of the universe, given by a team of astronomers from Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the color of the universe was a greenish white, but they soon corrected their analysis in a 2002 paper, in which they reported that their survey of the color of all light in the universe added up to a slightly beigeish white. The survey included more than 200,000 galaxies, and measured the spectral range of the light from a large volume of the universe. The hexadecimal RGB value for Cosmic Latte is #FFF8E7.
Discovery of the color
The finding of the "color of the universe" was not the focus of the study, which was examining spectral analysis of different galaxies to study star formation. Like Fraunhofer lines, the dark lines displayed in the study's spectral ranges display older and younger stars and allow Glazebrook and Baldry to determine the age of different galaxies and star systems. What the study revealed is that the overwhelming majority of stars formed about 5 billion years ago. Because these stars would have been "brighter" in the past, the color of the universe changes over time shifting from blue to red as more blue stars change to yellow and eventually red giants.
Glazebrook's and Baldry's work was funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
As light from distant galaxies reaches the Earth, the average "color of the universe" (as seen from Earth) marginally increases towards pure white, due to the light coming from the stars when they were much younger and bluer.
Naming of the color
The color was displayed in a Washington Post article. Glazebrook jokingly said that he was looking for suggestions for a name for the new color. Several people who read the article sent in suggestions. These were the results of a vote of the scientists involved based on the new color.
|Color Name||Credit||Number of votes from JHU astronomers|
|Cosmic Latte||Peter Drum||6|
|Cappuccino Cosmico||Peter Drum||17|
|Big Bang Buff/Blush/Beige||Many entrants||13|
|Cosmic Cream||Several entrants||8|
|Astronomer Almond||Lisa Rose||7|
|Primordial Clam Chowder||Unknown||4|
Though Drum's suggestion "Cappuccino Cosmico" received the most votes, Glazebrook and Baldry preferred Drum's other suggestion (Cosmic Latte). Drum came up with the name while sitting at a Starbucks coffeehouse drinking a latte and reading the Post. Drum noticed that the color of the universe as displayed in the Washington Post was the same color as his latte.
- Baldry, Ivan K.; Glazebrook, Karl; Baugh, Carlton M.; Bland‐hawthorn, Joss; Bridges, Terry; Cannon, Russell; Cole, Shaun; Colless, Matthew; Collins, Chris (2002). "The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: Constraints on Cosmic Star Formation History from the Cosmic Spectrum". The Astrophysical Journal. The American Astronomical Society (published 20 April 2002). 569 (2): 582–594. doi:10.1086/339477.
- Associated Press. "Universe: Beige, not Turquoise". Wired. Wired. Retrieved 2 February 2016.[dead link]
- The Cosmic Spectrum Official project website