New perspective on Milky Way
Thursday 29 March 2012
Around one billion stars in the Milky Way can be seen together for the first time in an image captured over a decade by astronomers.
Scientists produced the picture by combining infra-red light images from two telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Astronomers from the UK and Chile gathered the data which was then processed and archived by teams at the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge who, in turn, have made it available to studies around the world.
Dr Nick Cross, of the University of Edinburgh's school of physics and astronomy, said: "This incredible image gives us a new perspective of our galaxy and illustrates the far-reaching discoveries we can make from large sky surveys.
"Having data processed, archived and published by dedicated teams leaves other scientists free to concentrate on using the data and is a very cost-effective way to do astronomy."
Dr Cross said the archived information on the billions of stars, known as the Vista Data Flow System, will allow scientists to carry out research in future without needing to generate further data.
As well as being published online the image is being presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester today and shows the plane of the Milky Way galaxy from Earth's perspective.
It combines data from the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii and the Vista telescope in Chile.
Astronomers used infra-red radiation instead of visible light to enable them to see through much of the dust in the Milky Way and record details of the centre of the galaxy.
The work was supported by government body the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
Nepal earthquake video: Terrifying footage shows moment avalanche hit Everest Base Camp
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...