Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Astronomers release the largest color image of the sky ever made

Today, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) is releasing the largest digital color image of the sky ever made, and it’s free to all. The image has been put together over the last decade from millions of 2.8-megapixel images, thus creating a color image of more than a trillion pixels. This terapixel image is so big and detailed that one would need 500,000 high-definition TVs to view it at its full resolution. "We have upgraded the existing SDSS instruments, and we are using them to measure distances to over a million galaxies detected in this image," explains David Schlegel, an astronomer from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Principal Investigator of the new SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). More>