Using over 2 million infrared pictures from the Spitzer Space Telescope over the course of a decade, NASA has stitched together what is being called the clearest infrared panorama of our galaxy ever created. This is the first time all photographs from a project called the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (or GLIMPSE360) has been combined to make one single image.
The image only shows off three percent of the sky as we know it, but contains over half of all the stars in the Milky Way.
Scientists have used the data from the effort to construct what’s said to be the most precise map of stars running through the galaxy’s centre, and will use it to analyse the Milky Way’s spiral arms. In addition, the image will also act a roadmap for the James Webb Telescope which will take even more detailed infrared images when it is launched into space in 2018.
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