Feeds

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

A portrait of the Milky Way bulge in the infrared

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.