The above picture is probably the best thing I have seen all week (other than maybe the last episode I watched of “Boardwalk Empire.”), The image is the clearest infrared panorama of the Milky Way ever captured. Mind you the image is quite large at 20 gigapixels, but it is sheer awesome.
The panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared images taken over the past 10 years by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. You can explore the huge image online. It was initially unveiled at the TEDActive 2014 Conference in Vancouver, Canada, a few weeks ago.
Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA’s Spitzer Space Science Center explains just how big:
“If we actually printed this out, we’d need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it. Instead we’ve created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use.”