German scientists create incredible 46-billion pixel image of our Milky Way

Think the fancy 16-megapixel camera on your new smartphone snaps sharp images?  Have a peek at this outrageous 46-billion-pixel portrait of the Milky Way galaxy, compiled by scientists at a German university, using an arrangement of 268 individual views of our spiral galaxy, including many of the sun and Earth.  The painstaking result of data gathered over a five-year period by astronomers at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, it's the most all-encompassing astronomical photo captured to date, taking seven weeks to complete the 194GB file.

“For five years, the astronomers from Bochum have been monitoring our Galaxy in the search of objects with variable brightness,” the astonomers' team said in a press release. “Those objects may, for example, include stars in front of which a planet is passing, or multiple systems where stars orbit each other and which obscure each other now and then.  Using the online tool, any interested person can view the complete ribbon of the Milky Way at a glance, or zoom in and inspect specific areas."

Soar far into this wondrous composite photo of the Milky Way navigating with this online tool HERE, and don't forget to write!

(Via Extreme Tech)

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