Ladies and gentleman – we hereby give you a 9-gigapixel map of our Milky Way.
This thing contains around 84 MILLION stars and for sure it’s not like something I’ve ever seen. Just to make a quick comparison – the sheer size of the image is 24.6 GB…
So, the image does show something extraordinary – our Milky Way Galaxy – and this is how the VISTA telescope from the European Space Agency portrays it.
So, using the naked-eye you will most probably see the center of our Milky Way – a lot of stars and clouds – and that’s only on a patch of a few inches.
But – thanks to the VISTA telescope we can see a very detailed image of the Milky Way. This allowed the smart people to identify 84 million stars.
So what do you think? Are we alone in the galaxy?
The above picture is just a fragment of the original size which is ginormous – 108,500×81,500 in resolution.
When you see the whole thing – zoom in here.
Reason for the clarity of the image? VISTA’s infrared camera. It can actually see through the dust clouds that mind the view of other telescopes.
For a clearer picture of what we’re talking about – below a comparison. The Milky Way – same image as seen from an infrared telescope and a visible one.
There is no limit to imagination, so just for a moment, take a deep breath and imagine what else can be in there. The Milky Way is a part of a cosmic structure made from 800 galaxies across 1000 million light-years away. We are apart from a so-called “Intergalactic Highway” that stretches some 500 Million light years across and contains around 100.000.000.000.000.000 Suns, Laniakea scientists say.
One more interesting thing – We know that there are around 500 billion galaxies in the known universe, meaning that are maybe 50.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 planets which can be inhabited. Astronomers say that just the milky way galaxy is a home to some 400 billion stars!