Gorgeous Milky Way Image from the European Southern Observatory

This image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys. The APEX data, at a wavelength of 0.87 millimetres, shows up in red and the background blue image was imaged at shorter infrared wavelengths by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the GLIMPSE survey. The fainter extended red structures come from complementary observations made by ESA's Planck satellite. Note that the far right section of this long and thin image does not include Planck imaging. To fully appreciate this image click on it and zoom and scroll sideways.

Milky Way image from APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL)./ ESO

Innerspace is happy to resume its traditional nod to “Science Friday” and end the work week with stunning images from the European Southern Observatory. Sometimes nothing fuels the passion to get on with the exploration of space than to take a moment and contemplate just how beautiful it can be.

From the ESO:

A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves. This is the sharpest such map yet made, and complements those from recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.

The complete article, with full sizes images, is here.

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