Side Note: The two images shown above are mere crop outs from ESA’s recent hit: The 9 Billion Pixel Image of 84 Million Stars. These two focus on the bright center of the image for the purpose of highlighting what a peak at 84,000,000 stars looks like.
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have released a breathtaking new photograph showing the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The photograph shows a whopping 84 million stars in an image measuring 108500×81500, which contains nearly 9 billion pixels.
It’s actually a composite of thousands of individual photographs shot with the observatory’s VISTA survey telescope, the same camera that captured the amazing 55-hour exposure. Three different infrared filters were used to capture the different details present in the final image.
The VISTA’s camera is sensitive to infrared light, which allows its vision to pierce through much of the space dust that blocks the view of ordinary optical telescope/camera systems.
Behold, the Milky Way, with the magnificent power of 9 billion pixels. The improvements in the imaging of our universe thanks to modern technology are ceaselessly breathtaking.
We think so. Now that we think about it, maybe Mercury is Cookie Monster, or his distant cousin maybe (?), and it’s circling the Sun in hopes of om nom noming some space cookies or something.
Okay, maybe not.
Anyway NASA, thanks for thinking of us.
I’m a scientist. I verify this is accurate. It’s Cookie Moonster.
Individual images taken of Venus in one year to create a full curve. The summer solstice being at the top, winter solstice at the bottom, and equinox where they lines cross.
Jupiter may have “saved Earth from a devastating cosmic collision” on Monday when it took a hit from what may have been a massive asteroid, resulting in a 100-mile-wide fireball large enough to be caught on film from Earth.
This is the third time since 2009 observers have seen an impact flash on Jupiter’s surface, and some astronomers think the big planet’s gravitational pull serves as a sort of “cosmic shield” for the inner rings of planets — including Earth — “sweeping up incoming objects that would have a deadlier effect” if they were to crash into us. A few scientists think that without Jupiter’s protection, life on Earth wouldn’t have been able to develop.
Watch the collision on Jupiter
Jupiter’s our big brother protecting us from bully asteroids.