Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:47 PM
cthulu2016 (10,960 posts)
9 Billion Pixel image reveals Our Galaxy is kind of Grungy
Beautiful and awesome, yes, but I have to ask... is the search for the "missing dark matter" over? At this incredible resolution the whole thing looks full of cob-webs of non-luminous matter. Is my reading of that correct?
The central Milky Way Galaxy is a beautiful environment, as anyone who’s been fortunate enough to gaze upon a clear, rural sky knows well.
But it’s scarcely looked as breathtaking as it does in a new nine gigapixel (9 billion pixel) high-resolution composite image captured by the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO’s) Paranal Observatory in Chile, specifically using an instrument known as the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA).
The image, which was posted online by ESO on Wednesday, depicts 173 million different celestial objects, 84 million of which have been determined to be stars, according to ESO scientists. Altogether, the image is one of the largest ever produced in astronomical history and is so far the largest and most detailed of this region of the central Milky Way.
Astronomers are interested in the central region of our galaxy, also known as “the Bulge,” because it contains the oldest stars. Earth, by comparison, is located much further out, closer to the edge, on one of the galaxy’s spiral arms, the
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