PetaPixel

NASA Constructs 160-Megapixel Mosaic of Neighboring Galaxies

Swift Galaxy Pictures 160 Megapixel

High-resolution photography is seemingly where it’s at in today’s day and age. NASA knows this, and as such, astrophysicists at both the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Maryland and Pennsylvania State University have stitched together a remarkable 160-megapixel UV image of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — our two closest neighboring galaxies (less than 200,000 light years away).

Swift Galaxy 160 Megapixel 2

“We took thousands of images and assembled them into seamless portraits of the main body of each galaxy, resulting in the highest-resolution surveys of the Magellanic Clouds at ultraviolet wavelengths,” said Stefan Immler of GSFC.

2,200 images, in fact, compose this very colorful mosaic captured by the Swift Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope.

“Prior to these images, there were relatively few UV observations of these galaxies, and none at high-resolution across such wide areas, so this project fills in a major missing piece of the scientific puzzle,” said Michael Siegel from the Swift Mission Operations Center in Pennsylvania.

The capturing of these UV wavelength images allow scientists to better study the cosmos by showing details that would otherwise not be visible.

Care to see the full-size image? The 16000 x 10000 image, which weighs in at a whopping 457MB, is available in TIFF format on the Goddard Multimedia website.

(via NASA via Engadget)


Image credits: Photographs courtesy of NASA.


 
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  • Gary

    “…thousands of stars form each year…” Really? It takes MILLIONS of years for a star to form. This is more NASA nonsense and, like a lot of what they put out for public consumption, is riddled with factual distortions and misconceptions that the average person is too ignorant to catch. For example, the field of plasma cosmology has blown away the notion that “gravitational effects” have anything at all to do with such events, but NASA rarely, if ever, acknowledges this. Then there is the typical misconception that events in interstellar space are occurring in real-time. The UV light captured in these images was produced by these stars about the same time Homo Erectus walked the Earth.