The image of the Milky Way at 46 gigapixel: the largest astronomical picture

Detail Image: Nebula M8 i>

Astronomers Ruhr University in Bochum put together and posted a net largest image of the Milky Way in history. The total picture assembled from a plurality of images, contains 46 gigapixel. To view the picture for which data were collected for five years, researchers have created a special website.

Material from the observations of the sky methodically going Observatory of the University, but the main purpose of the study was certainly not creating great pictures on the internet and search for objects of variable brightness. Among those are the stars with their planetary systems arranged so that the planets are held periodically between this star and the observer from Earth. Also, it may be the system of binary stars orbiting around each other.

During the five-year observations, scientists have found and brought to the catalog of more than 50,000 of these objects, which were not previously known to science. Scientists seek to observe as much as possible a vast part of the sky, so they divided it into 268 sectors, which are photographed in succession at intervals of a few days. The difference in the luminosity of the objects in the photographs of the same area taken at different times, and helps to find objects of variable brightness.

A tool for viewing in the browser lets you scroll through it, zoom in, and search for the name of the object (the search box - at the bottom left, there shows the current location).



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