Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Infrared Milky Way

I saw this in a JPL press release the other day, and now it's featured in the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. Some 850,000 infrared (IR) images from the Spitzer Space Telescope have been assembled into a huge mosaic of the Milky Way Galaxy. APOD only shows a small central section, and the full stills show it as a set of narrow strips. But I think the best effect is obtained in the video you can view here which pans through many interesting areas of the full mosaic. The IR imagery highlights star-forming regions and other features that are obscured by dust in visible images.

P.S. The next-day APOD is a nice artist's rendering of a TOP view of the barred-spiral Milky Way as inferred from the Spitzer data. It includes a mouse-over layer that labels the features and distances in our Galaxy, including the position of our own local star.

No comments: