16 March 2012


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA.
In a great mapping milestone, NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope has compiled this mosaic image of the entire sky. 
That's more than 2.7 million images taken at four infrared wavelengths of light for a total of more than 15 trillion bytes of data in just over two years

As for what you're looking at, here's the WISE page description:
This map is centered on the Milky Way Galaxy. The plane of the Galaxy runs along the equator, and the center of the Galaxy is at the center of the map, where projection distortions are minimal. The distortions are most pronounced at the edges of the map. The right and left edges of this oval shape are the same location in the sky.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA.
There are 560 million objects in this view—many seen for the first time—stars, galaxies, planets, asteroids, and more:
WISE observations have led to numerous discoveries, including the elusive, coolest class of stars. Astronomers hunted for these failed stars, called "Y-dwarfs," for more than a decade. Because they have been cooling since their formation, they don't shine in visible light and could not be spotted until WISE mapped the sky with its infrared vision

And here's a zoomable version of the WISE map so you can boldly go where no one has gone before. Click here for humongous version.
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