Scientists have produced a colossal picture of our Milky Way Galaxy, to reveal the detail of a billion stars.

It is built from thousands of individual images acquired by two UK-developed telescopes operating in Hawaii and in Chile.

Archived data from the project, known as the Vista Data Flow System, will be mined by astronomers to make new discoveries about the local cosmos.

But more simply, it represents a fabulous portrait of the night sky.

“There are about one billion stars in there – this is more than has been in any other image produced by surveys,” said Dr Nick Cross from the University of Edinburgh.

“When it was first produced, I played with it for hours; it’s just stunning,” he told BBC News.

2 thoughts on “Picture captures a billion stars

  1. Neville how apt Cranium Gigantigus have put that one away for future use – I always think the notion that we are just wave of cells that regenerates completely as a pattern every 10 years also puts you in context as well. Also means you can continually improve – if the cells can renew why can’t you!

  2. It highlights how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things and even more, how little we know – of all there is to know. A good reminder whenever I start suffering from Cranium Gigantigus.

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