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Heart of the Milky Way Photos From NASA

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the do-you-need-newer-desktop-art dept.

NASA 111

PBH submitted a link to a really amazing composite image of the Milky Way released by NASA. They combined infrared, visible, and x-ray images taken by Spitzer, Hubble, and Chandra to create one beautiful image to commemorate the 400 years since 1609, when Galileo looked up.

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heart of the asshole (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062084)

from goatse [goatse.ch] !

Seriously cool ... (2, Informative)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062144)

Very nice! I now have a new desktop wallpaper!

Re:Seriously cool ... (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062512)

Re:Seriously cool ... (2, Interesting)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063414)

It will probably end up replacing my previous one
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA08329.jpg [nasa.gov]

The sun is being occulted, the reflection of the rings are seen on the dark side of Saturn. Not to mention the little faint blue dot just below the thickest part of the outer bulry ring, on the left side is supposedly Earth.

Re:Seriously cool ... (1)

afortaleza (791264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064906)

What spaceship took this picture ?

Re:Seriously cool ... (2, Informative)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065336)

The Cassini Huygens probe. It has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004. It also took some very nice pictures of Jupiter on the way to Saturn.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/missiondetails.cfm?mission=Cassini [nasa.gov]

Re:Seriously cool ... (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065404)

Ok so I messed up. The Cassini orbiter took the photos. The Huygens probe fell through the atmosphere of Titan.

I also saw this launch in person. It was pretty sweet night launch.

+1, thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30066666)

Slashdot needs a new mod option: "+1, Thanks".

Re:Seriously cool ... (2, Funny)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069020)

I looked hard, but I still can't find the black hole....

Re:Seriously cool ... (2, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063436)

A printed map? Don't they know that this is already obsolete? [space.com]

Can't we get this electronically on a Tom Tom, so we can find our way home?

Re:Seriously cool ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30063458)

The best bit of all - after humanity disappears up its own uranus of arrogance and stupidity, it will still be cool.

Re:Seriously cool ... (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068770)

Amazing picture of the violent heart of our galaxy. There now obvious sign of a black hole there, but it hidden in the bright spot on the lower right middle of the picture.

---

Astronomy [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

this is beautiful (2, Insightful)

Froze (398171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062170)

and yet, somehow darkly disturbing.

Re:this is beautiful (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062264)

It's full of stars!

Re:this is beautiful - Inkblot (1)

The Incomplete Lemon (698564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062610)

So, who else is seeing a giant hand?

Re:this is beautiful - Inkblot (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063046)

O,o

What has been seen...

Re:this is beautiful - Inkblot (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069050)

I can't but I can see a giant mutant star-goat!

HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062740)

For those veterans who served their country by fighting pointless wars in third-world countries against people who weren't a threat to us (no WMDs after all), in order to expand American imperialism, I say: HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY! We sure were getting distracted by domestic issues until we had another pointless war to fight.

hope it was worth it. remember, "Iraq" is Arabic and it translates to "Vietnam". now go beat the drum of patriotism and tell us they hate us because of our freedoms. nevermind that we use our intelligence services to overthrow their elected governments and install ruthless dictators who are favorable to our economic interests. nevermind that Saddam Hussein was a CIA-trained asset and so was Osama bin Ladin. nevermind that the Arabs don't want us to conduct the socioeconomic warfare against them (what Theodore Roosevelt called Dollar Diplomacy) that we used against most of South America. it's our great freedoms they hate us for. yeah. so sign up for the military and fight some dune coons today! we need all the useful idiots we can get.

"Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder." - Thomas Paine

the only thing sadder is that you will read this and know it is true, or maybe you'll use a search engine and figure out that it's true, and your only reaction will be to get annoyed at me for saying it and you'll mod me down ASAP to try and shut me up. because that's so much more important than being honest about the decay of a nation and its rot from within.

Re:HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30063038)

Awesome. Democrats have had control of congress since 2007, and control of congress and the whitehouse since 2009. How's that hope and change working out? I guess sending 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan is a change! Can you believe in it?

Re:this is beautiful (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063622)

and yet, somehow darkly disturbing.

Well yeah, probably because just to the upper right of the center of the image, you can see what is clearly either the Death Star or Unicron heading right for us!

But wait, there's more! (0, Redundant)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062196)

Here's one they missed [instockexpress.com]

Re:But wait, there's more! (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062226)

That's the whole Milky Way not just the heart, so of course it's bigger!

larger versions of image available here (5, Informative)

jrms (1347707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062198)

You can download much larger versions of this image from the following link:

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/28/image/b/warn/ [hubblesite.org]

I'm downloading the 50 MB TIFF at the moment.

Re:larger versions of image available here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062592)

is there a torrent of the 'massive' one?

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063576)

Thanks for that link
But just wondering, where's the black hole?
There's suppose to be a great big black hole there somewhere. I'm not seeing it ...

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070752)

Black holes (whilst black) have an accretion disc [wikipedia.org] of hot material that glows brightly due to compressional heating under the extreme gravity. You can see this as the glowing white regions to the right of the image

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064518)

Wow, what resolution is your desktop to use that as the wallpaper?

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064568)

Maybe he wants to print it poster-sized. At 300 dpi, the largest image would be 32"x16"

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

jrms (1347707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064810)

Wow, what resolution is your desktop to use that as the wallpaper?

One day, big enough.

Re:larger versions of image available here (1)

mykdavies (1369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065030)

Wow, there's a Balrog staring at me out of that image!

That's odd . . . (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062228)

. . . there's no sign at all of Wisdom Chits.

(I wonder how many people will get that reference without having to Google.)

Re:That's odd . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30067606)

I get it. Played that board game a few times. Can't remember the name of it though, it's been about 15 years since I last saw it.

Re:That's odd . . . (1)

Unclenefeesa (640611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070736)

and how many will still not get it after Googling it !!

(did you Google it yourself?)

and then Jesus said, (1)

duckintheface (710137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062300)

Peter! Peter! I can see my house from here!

I know it is heresy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062344)

Since he was born in 1564, I suspect 1609 wasn't the first time he looked up.

Re:I know it is heresy (2, Informative)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062488)

From TFA:

A never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way galaxy is being unveiled by NASA on Nov. 10. This event will commemorate the 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1609.

The summary kind of missed the point of that sentence a bit...

Re:I know it is heresy (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062578)

So... He was using it to observe other heavenly bodies until then?

Re:I know it is heresy (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062612)

Heavenly Body? Uma Thurman? Oh sorry, I believe that was celestial body.

Re:I know it is heresy (2, Informative)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070162)

It's amazing how something so obvious in retrospect was such an intuitive leap forward in (ahem) the dark.

Telescopes existed for some time before Galileo, but in extremely limited quantities and mainly used for practical purposes, such as scanning for mast and sails of ships as they emerged in the horizon.

In those days, the church told you how the heavens went, and that was that. After plenty of leeway for intellectuals during the Middle Ages, a panicky Vatican was in full-tilt political damage control mode since Martin Luther had sparked a movement that split the church in two, with the support of a new, rich merchant class who were ready to challenge the power of Rome. A famous victim of this scramble to put the toothpaste back in the tube was Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for heresy, an inconceivable prospect a couple of centuries before.
Remember that Copernicus came up with the heliocentric idea to explain the embarrassing discrepancy of the Julian calendar having thrown the seasons off-sync (think an error in calculation of 15 minutes per year, then add it up over a millennium and a half). Even so, the first edition of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium was published with a HUGE disclaimer that went along the lines of "This is a hypothetical treatise, an mathematical exercise, and is in no way intended to conflict with the canon of the almighty church". To get a feel for the times, picture yourself as a Darwinist teacher of Biology in Kansas, then multiply by a hundred.

Not surprising then that in this climate, it took a while before some foolhardy individual decided to get a bit creative with a telescope and point it up into the night sky.

Re:I know it is heresy (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062588)

I'm pretty sure the whole segmented spinal column concept wasn't invented until the late 16th century. Ever see portraits from that time period and earlier? They didn't just figuratively have sticks up their asses.

Missing something (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062364)

Where's the Great Barrier?

Re:Missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062522)

The ori super gate drained the power from that.

Meanwhile, on a mountain top in Hawaii... (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062456)

The Keck I telescope quietly pouts. "We're pretty great," it says. "We're a great observatory."

"I know, I know," says the Keck II consolingly. "It's just a name; don't let it get you down. We'd beat them in a second if we weren't too big to put in orbit."

"Are you saying I'm fat?" Keck I cries.

"Come on, that's a good thing for a telescope, am I right?" the Keck says encouragingly. "We're the fattest!"

"Yeah!" Keck I says brightly, spirits seemingly lifted. But as Keck II returns to observations, Keck I still feels the sting of not being in the spotlight.

Later, scientists analyzing data from Keck I find minor anomalies, caused by unexplained water droplets on the primary.

Wow. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062508)

That image has stellar composition!

Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062544)

Look at the reds and yellows. Hand coming in from right to left, thumb at bottom with fingers reaching out to grab the large bright blue area near the left. It even has a wrist and forearm...

Okay, so I did drugs when I was a kid and, apparently, they haven't quite left my system yet. :-)

Re:Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062582)

It was the first thing I noticed when I zoomed in. Well, after I noticed how much smog there is in the milky way. There should be an intergalactic summit on that - nobody should have to live with all that dust.

Re:Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (4, Funny)

Slartibartfass (1131161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063228)

I am quite surprised nobody on Slashdot came up with this before. So I fired up GIMP to point out the obvious: http://pickhost.eu/images/0002/6185/milkywaycore.jpg [pickhost.eu]

Re:Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30063466)

LOL'd...hard.

Re:Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065660)

You should have marked this NSFW!

Re:Anyone else see the skeletal hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30067406)

Oh fuck me...

And your username... fuck me again.

Brillinat

my god, it's full of goatse? (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068314)

That would be hilarious if you had a need to modify it much.

In light of the fact that you didn't (mirror image really), I'm terrified. Really, amazingly terrified.

The universe is a web meme, folks. 'night all. Sleep as well as you can.

Another great picture of the heart of milkyway (0, Offtopic)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062616)

Here is a even better picture [blisstree.com] of the heart of Milkyway.

Re:Another great picture of the heart of milkyway (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062718)

Excellent Shot! Where's the supermassive black hole?

BIG SIZE (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062802)

does anyone know where can I download huge versions of these kind of images? I always wanted to make a poster, I thought of getting a big enough one to make it 300 or 600 dpi at a large size (at least 1 meter width), and have it printed.

Re:BIG SIZE (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30062838)

Perhaps you are looking for the king size?

Re:BIG SIZE (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063112)

Posted already, but in case you missed it: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/28/image/b/warn/ [hubblesite.org]

Re:BIG SIZE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068924)

and also posted : http://www.mininova.org/tor/3140994 [mininova.org] . will seed it on my colo box for a few hours... for science!

Re:BIG SIZE (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069792)

Heh... I'm the one who created that torrent, and I've been seeding it ever since.

Re:BIG SIZE (1)

antic (29198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071260)

I have been thinking about trying to get a Milky Way composite photo large enough to print and mount as a false-ceiling in my home office. Then have it backlit so the night lighting in the room is worth kicking back every now and then to stare at in wonder.

I'm pretty sure Galileo looked up earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062804)

We're commemorating that Galileo looked up now? And we know he looked up for the first time 400 years ago?
What about when he was a baby back in 1564 (i.e: 445 years ago)... I'm pretty sure as he was lying down, he was looking up.

Flying Spaghetti Monster found in Milky Way photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30062886)

I could not help but notice the image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster appearing in the composite photo of the Milky Way just released by NASA. May his noodly appendages bless us all.

How big? (2, Funny)

Safaraz (1213484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063012)

I might just be being blind or stupid and missed it, but what is the scale of the picture? I want to get some idea of how big the things shown in it are.

Re:How big? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063094)

1 cm = 1 megafuckload kilometers.

Re:How big? (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064258)

1 cm = 1 megafuckload kilometers = 0.621371192 megafuckload miles

Fixed that for you ;) Remember, this is an American site with American readers whom might not be familiar with the metric system ;)

Re:How big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30067974)

Remember, this is an American site with American readers

So we need this measurement in megafuckload football fields?

Re:How big? (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063138)

Depends on how far away they are.

Re:How big? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063424)

There's an annotated image here [hubblesite.org] , which inexplicably has a scale in light years/parsecs. I mean, it must be talking about at a particular depth, maybe the dust cloud the Hubble imaged? The arc-minutes/seconds scale, at least, makes perfect sense.

Re:How big? (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063694)

Where's the black hole in this picture?

Re:How big? (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063746)

The Universe is flat, fool!

Re:How big? (1)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063234)

"Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space...

Re:How big? (5, Informative)

jnaujok (804613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063846)

The image covers about 1/2 of 1 degree of the sky, or about the same size as the full moon. Given the 0.5 degrees of arc, the distance to galactic center (about 30,000 light years), I leave it as a simple math (trig) exercise to work out the extent of the photo in light years across.

Nah, no I don't. If we take the length of the triangle as 30,000 and the angle as 2 * 0.25 degrees ( to split it into two right triangles), then sin(0.25 deg) * 30,000 = 130.9 light years, times two, gives about a 262 light year wide image, which means each pixel at 1920x1200 covers a square of about 0.136 light years (1,286,631,860,000 kilometers) per side.

For comparison, that's about 8600 AU (Earth-Sun distance). The solar system to the Heliosheath (where the Voyager probes are) is about 100 AU. So each pixel is a square, 86 solar systems across.

Now that's a big pixel...

Re:How big? (2, Informative)

V50 (248015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30066928)

Pfft. From TV I know we should be able to enhance the image enough so that we can see individual aliens by enhancing that pixel enough.

Re:How big? (1)

jnaujok (804613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069074)

Go back to "CSI: Miami" where that crap actually works.

"Look, I can tease infinite information out of three 8 bit numbers!"

Re:How big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30070648)

First seen in Blade Runner

Re:How big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30067162)

So the "1 cm = 1 megafuckload kilometers" was a vast underestimate.

Re:How big? (1)

deathcow (455995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063854)

The entire picture appears about 45 arcminutes across. So if the full Moon drifted in front of this picture, it would cover all but the outer edges.

huh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30063014)

I made one of them with my SpinArt a few years ago.

You are here. (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063148)

Anyone know where the area of the supermassive black hole at the center of the milky way is supposed to be located in this photo? Anyone with a version of this pointing out various popularly known astronomical bodies in the field? Some perspective would be cool to see on this starmap.

Re:You are here. (1)

jnaujok (804613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063656)

Sagittarius A* (the super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way) is located in the "white swirly thing" at the middle right of the image.

Re:You are here. (1)

afortaleza (791264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065006)

The only place "popularly" known in this picture would be Sagittarius A, it's the bright spot at the center right on the picture. That's where a massive black holes is supposed to be.

Re:You are here. (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30066090)

Black holes aren't black. At ease, proles.

right next to the super stargate that was photo sh (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30066536)

right next to the super stargate that was photo shopped out.

Huh? (1)

Smurf (7981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063186)

[...] to commemorate the 400 years since 1609, when Galileo looked up.

Galileo was born in 1564 [wikipedia.org] . I'm pretty sure that in 45 years he had at least one chance to look up...

Anyway, pretty picture. Now, in a few years when pollution and terrestrial lights has hidden the details of the night sky even in the remote, uninhabited regions, our grandchildren will say:

Grandad, did the sky really look so beautiful back then?

And we will bring out a wide, warm smile and say:

Not even remotely!

Intergalactic mug shot? (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063292)

So this is the image of what is supposed to pwn us in 2012, right?

Sweet...

Re:Intergalactic mug shot? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064116)

If so, it's already happened... we just don't know it yet. ;)

A challenge for Google (1)

ciaran.mchale (1018214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30063312)

I'm just waiting for Google to send a fleet of their black vans around the Milky Way so we can see it all on Google Street View. Perhaps one day we will be able to see the view outside the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

I see a rainbow planet!! (1)

Dysan2k (126022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064086)

Quick! Sell the location to the Melnorme before our Ur-Quan overlords detect our shields aren't working!!

Where are (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30064564)

Any idea where, on this map, the bagel birds live?

Obligatory (1)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065608)

My God! It's full of stars!

APOD has it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30065688)

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

"Shaka-ri has been found!" (0)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30065864)

Sybok in Star Trek V.

Oooh! (0)

tywjohn (1676686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30066258)

I think I can see a TARDIS in there!

What is the bright area to the left of centre? (1)

allanclloyds (1648923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068430)

What is the bright area to the left of centre? Just curious. Ta.

How despressing... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068812)

I browse /. today to find only 80 comments on something as significant as this photo yet find 600 comments on something as insignificant as xbox users being disconnected.

I weep for the future.

Re:How despressing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30070724)

Insightful? I see the proportion as about right. The universe is an organism that produced you and will keep on producing things much later (much, much, much, much, much, etc etc etc much much!! and much!) later than you die (and, btw, much more evolved than you and me right now). The XBox thing, as ridiculous as it no doubt is, affects people more than how the center of the Milky Way looked like 30k years before now. Sun, moon, tides.

I can see my house! (1)

tectomorph (844828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068864)

I should have washed my car...

New Planet Discovered! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30070450)

I'm no astronomer, but that ringed body looks like a planet to me. Can I name it?
2320px from the left, 1840px from the bottom (expanded image)

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