They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this just leaves us speechless. Pictured above is a compressed 108,500 x 81,500 pixel image of 84 million stars across central parts of the Milky Way. Taken by the VISTA survey telescope at the ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, this 9-gigapixel photo is the result of thousands of individual images being meshed together. If it were printed out at the average resolution of a standard book it would measure a mind-boggling 9 x 7 meters. Using three separate infrared filters, VISTA is able to see through dust fields that normally obscure the view of an optical telescope. By studying this monumental image, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of how galaxies form and evolve. If you’d like to take a look at this galactic work of art in its entirety, you can do so by visiting the source link below.
(Image credit: ESO/VVV Consortium)