Lights out in the galactic centre

Eso_potw1818a_1024

eso_potw1818a April 30th, 2018

Credit: ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo

A sinister smile appears amid a sea of stars in this image — a small portion of a gigantic gigapixel colour mosaic of the Milky Way’s heart. Comprised of thousands of incredibly detailed images taken by ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), the mosaic reveals more of the stars at the Milky Way’s heart than ever before. VISTA was chosen due to its extremely sensitive infrared camera, which can see through most of the dust that blocks our view towards the centre of the galaxy. What we see in this image is a dense patch of gas and dust — a nebula — that even VISTA’s camera cannot see through. Located near the Lagoon Nebula (not seen), it appears to wink back as it mischievously blocks out the light from background stars. The full image contains almost nine billion pixels, and is part of the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) survey, a project to image the Milky Way’s bulge and disc at near-infrared wavelengths. To create the colour mosaic, images at three different wavelengths were seamlessly combined. The full zoomable image can be explored online.

Provider: European Southern Observatory

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1818a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Milky Way Galactic Centre
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Appearance > Dark
Eso_potw1818a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 18h 9m 43.2s
DEC = -23° 56’ 7.2”
Orientation
North is 61.2° CCW
Field of View
2.0 x 1.3 degrees
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Green None (None) Infrared 1.7 µm
Blue Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Infrared (Ks) 1.3 µm
Red Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Infrared (J) 2.2 µm
Red Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Optical (H) 879.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Green
Blue
Red
Red
Eso_potw1818a_1280
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ID
potw1818a
Subject Category
B.4.2.3  
Subject Name
Milky Way Galactic Centre
Credits
ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo
Release Date
2018-04-30T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1818a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
None, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Instrument
None, VIRCAM, VIRCAM, VIRCAM
Color Assignment
Green, Blue, Red, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Optical
Bandpass
-, Ks, J, H
Central Wavelength
1650, 1250, 2150, 879
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
272.43018033, -23.9353198194
Reference Dimension
10344.0, 7129.0
Reference Pixel
5172.0, 3564.5
Scale
-0.0001886894167, 0.0001886894167
Rotation
61.160000000000032
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org
Name
ohainaut
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw1818a
Metadata Date
2017-07-16T15:44:55+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.

 

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