Our Milky Way

November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Media, Space | Leave a comment

The VISTA survey telescope in Chile has taken many pictures of the Milky Way. With an infrared filter, they screen out more of the dust than our eyes do. Recently, they assembled thousands of those pictures into one high resolution image. It’s over 9 billion pixels and over 24 GB in size. It also requires recent Photoshop as it uses a special .psb format for such a massive image.

Happily, it’s also available in more moderate sizes – see their links lower on the right side. A DVD-filling TIFF might be easier to work with if you like to zoom. Or maybe you’d like publication or screen-sized versions? A desktop wallpaper?

The Milky Way

VISTA gigapixel mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way
ESO/VVV Consortium: Ignacio Toledo, Martin Kornmesser ©CC

It’s an iconic image, like the first pictures of the earth taken from the moon. Our galactic home, glowing in the distance.

PS – if the effect isn’t obvious in the above image, it is when you zoom in to a higher res version.

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