It turns out the Milky Way looks a lot like a Jackson Pollack painting. And each of us aren’t even the tiniest paint drip.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), an ambitious project to create multi-color images of space, has released its third and final set of data: a stunning digital view of our universe that, at more than a trillion pixels, supposedly would take a half a million high-definition TVs to view at its full resolution. Astronomers say the image contains a half a billion objects, a quarter of a billion stars and a quarter of a billion galaxies.
It’s a project that’s more than a decade in the making. The world’s largest digital camera – a 138-megapixel imaging detector attached to a 2.5 meter telescope in New Mexico – began capturing photos in 1998. What’s surprising is that scientists have been using virtually the same map of the sky since the 1950s, when the First Palomar Sky Survey was conducted using a 48-inch telescope located in southern California.
The pixels in the new image are so advanced that it contains five different colors of light: “green, yellow, red, redder than red and bluer than blue.” (Um, we didn’t know those last two existed.)
To see an animation of just how miniscule we all are and how petty all of our problems seem in the shadow of our vast universe, check out this animation!