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NASA's Spitzer Telescope Presents 360-Degree View Of Galaxy

Published on 26 March 2014

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Washington, D.C.

Touring the Milky Way now is as easy as clicking a button, with NASA’s new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic.

The star-studded panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared snapshots taken over the past 10 years by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Shown above are three slices from the mosaic.

“If we actually printed this out, we’d need a billboard as big as [a] stadium to display it,” said Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA’s Spitzer Space Science Center in Pasadena, California. “Instead, we’ve created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use.”

The 20-gigapixel mosaic captures about 3 percent of the sky, but because it focuses on a band around Earth where the plane of the Milky Way lies, it shows more than half of all the galaxy’s stars.

The image, derived primarily from the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire project, or GLIMPSE, is online at http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/glimpse360.

For more on Spitzer and the GLIMPSE360 project, see this NASA press release.


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Posted 2014-03-26 14:58:00