Cosmic Latte

If you ever load up this blog from a slower connection, you may notice that before the background image loads, the HTML background for the page is a kind of off-white vaguely magnolia-ish colour. There is actually a reason for this.

That colour is this colour – and this colour is the average colour of the Universe.
Its official name is Cosmic Latte.


Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined this colour in 2002, using the light from over 200,000 galaxies. The average colour was this soft creamy colour which wouldn’t look out of place on the walls of a downtown coffeeshop. For any graphic designers reading, the hex value of this colour is #FFF8E7.

Amusingly, a few other names were suggested for this colour, including Univeige, Astronomer Almond, and Skyvory.

Name aside, the colour may be familiar to anyone who enjoys looking at astronomical images. The cores of galaxies are often a very similar colour!


This image is a tiny version of the largest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy. You can see it in all its glory at APOD. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B. F. Williams, L. C. Johnson (U. Washington), PHAT team, R. Gendler

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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