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Astronomy Picture of the Week

May 20, 2011

 

                                                                                    A Journey Through the Night Sky
Image Credit & Copyright: Nick Risinger (Photopic Sky Survey)

Explanation: Majestic nebulae and stars of our Milky Way Galaxy stretch across this panoramic image of the entire night sky. At full resolution, the 5 gigapixel mosaic was stitched together from over 37,000 images, the result of a season following, year long effort and 60,000 travel miles in search of still dark skies in the American west and the western Cape of South Africa. The well-planned project combined many exposures from the dark sites, intended to produce an inspiring view of the night to rival the brightness of day. An interactive journey through the scene will uncover a congeries of innumerable stars with vast clouds of gas and dust strewn along the galactic plane and central bulge, too faint to see with the unaided eye. Even galaxies of stars beyond our Milky Way can be found within the cosmic vista.

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