Feeds

ESO's nine-gigapixel galactic image has 84 MILLION stars

A portrait of the Milky Way bulge in the infrared

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Southern Observatory has captured and catalogued a giant image of the centre of our galaxy that, if printed at “normal resolution”, would measure 9 x 7 meters.

The nine-gigapixel image from the VISTA telescope at Paranal Observatory – this is just a Web version – has been catalogued by an international team of astronomers to create a catalogue of 84 million stars.

And even that’s just a tiny bit of the sky: 315 square degrees sounds like a lot, but it’s less than one percent of the entire sky. Observations were carried out using three infrared filters, and the 84 million catalogued stars are less than half of the 173 million objects the survey identified.

Just a hint of what the ESO's VISTA image looks like ...

The ESO says the survey has revealed a large number of faint red dwarf stars, which are good candidates for exoplanet searches (they suffer a relatively large drop in brightness when transited by an orbiting planet).

VISTA – the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy – combines a wide field of view, large mirror, and high sensitivity, enabling it to capture an image which, in its raw form, measures 108,200 x 81,500 pixels.

As well as giving the world “the biggest astronomical images ever produced”, the team says it’s also compiled the largest-ever catalogue of stars in the Milky Way’s bulge.

The study has been published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.