Whenever I’m in Bodrum or somewhere with little lights, I gaze upon the sky. Try to catch meteorites, stars and our majestic, galactic home named Milky Way. Now, NASA has revealed a new zoomable, 360-degree view of Milky Way which was constructed from more than two million infrared snapshots taken over the past ten years by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
Credit: Starry Night Software / A. Fazekas
The map has a whopping 20-gigapixel size, and it captures only about 3 percent of our sky. The space telescope’s vision was focused along the thin disk of the Milky Way galaxy for a total of 172 days , it shows more than half of its stars.
“If we actually printed this out, we’d need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it,” said Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA’s Spitzer Space Science Center in Pasadena, California. “Instead, we’ve created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use.”
You can check out the map and take your own tour of the Milky Wayhere; http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/glimpse360.
It is amazing to think that all the countless points of light that make up this starry band are actually millions of stars. Most of them are tens of thousands of light-years away from Earth, yet are part of the island of stars that is our galactic city.