NASA has launched an interactive map of the Milky Way galaxy, constructed over the course of 10 years from more than 2 million infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Most of us will never leave the Earth -- but that doesn't stop us dreaming of the stars. There are a few tools that let you explore, though -- and NASA has just launched a killer.
Created from the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (Glimpse) project, it's the most comprehensive visual map of the Milky Way Galaxy released to date -- and yet it only shows just over half of the galaxy's stars. Stitched together from more than 2 million images taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope over the course of a decade, the zoomable, 360-degree image comes in at 20 gigapixels. Since its launch in 2003, Spitzer has spent a total of 4,142 hours taking pictures of the Milky Way in infrared light.
"If we actually printed this out, we'd need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it," Spitzer Space Science Center imaging specialist Robert Hurt said in a statement. "Instead we've created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use."
Link to full article at Cnet.com