Astronomers make 46-gigapixel panorama of the Milky Way




Astronomers at the Ruhr University Bochum have developed a 46-gigapixel panorama of the Milky Way. Was used for this imagery that the past five years has been made. The resulting file is 194GB in size.

The panorama is according to the creators of the largest image of the space that has ever been created, it is an interactive tool in the browser view. It is possible to enter the names of stars or galaxies with coordinates in the box, the panorama then automatically zooms in to the relevant objects. Loading the zoomed images appear at time of writing does not work well, it is possible to overload the site.

For five years, the researchers examined, led by Prof. Dr. Rolf Chini, in the galaxy for objects with a variable brightness. This may for example be star, where a planet passes wide. To detect such objects, the team has the telescopes of the University of Bochum, who are in the observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile, focusing on the southern sky.

The area that the astronomers observed was divided into 268 sections. Each section was photographed with an interval of several days, so that by comparing the images of the objects are visible with a variable brightness. In total, the researchers discovered more than 50 000 new objects. All footage is then used to make the big panorama. After a number of weeks calculations yield that a file of 194 giga byte on, an image consisting of a total of 46 billion pixels.

In 2014 a 20-gigapixel image of the Milky Way was put together. For this panorama were used two million infrared pictures of the Glimpse project.


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