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Sat Jun 15, 2013, 06:04 AM

Time-Lapse: The Rise of the Milky Way

Time-Lapse: The Rise of the Milky Way
By Phil Plait
| Posted Thursday, June 13, 2013, at 12:06 PM



Here it is, your moment of Zen: the Milky Way rising majestically over the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

- see link for video -

This time-lapse video was taken by Stéphane Guisard, whose photos have been seen on this blog many times before (see Related Posts, below). Guisard used a wide-angle fish-eye lens to capture the whole sky. Around the bottom are the various telescopes comprising the Very Large Telescope array (each an 8.2-meter behemoth), and you can see the domes moving as they target various astronomical objects.

The Milky Way steals the show here. We live in a vast disk galaxy, 100,000 light-years across. But we’re not in the center; we’re very roughly halfway from the center to the edge of the disk. That means when we look toward the constellation of Sagittarius, we are looking toward the center of the galaxy—like someone who lives halfway to the northern edge of Manhattan can face south to look “downtown.”

The central bulge of the galaxy rises right to the zenith, and the flat disk, seen edge-on, bends due to the weird optical effect of the lens Guisard used. The disk is littered with gas clouds and spotted with darker clouds of thick dust that block the light of stars behind them.

More:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/06/13/time_lapse_the_rise_of_the_milky_way.html

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Reply Time-Lapse: The Rise of the Milky Way (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2013 OP
Judi Lynn Jun 2013 #1
cantbeserious Jun 2013 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 06:07 AM

1. You Are Here: A Whole-Sky Time-Lapse of the Galactic Center

You Are Here: A Whole-Sky Time-Lapse of the Galactic Center

Beautiful, deep view into the Milky Way's core

Rebecca J. Rosen Jun 14 2013, 11:53 AM ET

Astrophotographer Stéphane Guisard's latest work showcases the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, as seen at zenith from the Paranal Observatory in Chile's Atacama desert. Two of our neighboring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, also appear in the sky's upper left corner.

The Milky Way is what's known as a "barred spiral galaxy," which is pretty much like it sounds -- a spiral shape with a starry bar at the center. Here's a nice face-on view of one known as NGC 1300, some 69 million light years away:

(Photos at link)

A picture like that is a good proxy for what our own galaxy would look like if we could see it from afar. But this will never happen, at least not in any realistic foreseeable future. To get a picture like that, a full face-on view of the spiral, we'd need a spacecraft outside our galaxy, and we haven't even gotten one outside our own solar system (yet). The best images we do have of our galaxy come from our space telescopes, which are stationed very close to our planet, which itself is located in one of the spiral's arms. These images are gorgeous, but they don't show the spiral -- they can't, since they're taken from within it. Instead, they look like this:

(Photos at link)

More:
http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2013/06/you-are-here-a-whole-sky-time-lapse-of-the-galactic-center/276891/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:55 PM

2. Breathtaaking

eom

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