This Is The Milky Way Like You've Never Seen It Before
By: Erin Ruberry
We knew our galaxy was pretty awesome... but this new view is absolutely extraordinary.
This 'GLIMPSE' comes courtesy of the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which turned more than 2.5 million infrared images taken over a 10-year period into GLIMPSE360, a zoomable, 360-degree interactive panorama of the Milky Way.
"If we actually printed this out, we'd need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it," said Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA's Spitzer Space Science Center, in a statement. "Instead, we've created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use."
GLIMPSE360 captures just three percent of our sky, yet that view encompasses more than half of all stars in the Milky Way.
"You've seen the result of over two-and-a-half
The Spitzer Telescope "has spent more than 10 years studying everything from asteroids in our solar system to the most remote galaxies at the edge of the observable universe," according to NASA.
NASA has also turned to crowdsourcing for identifying new characteristics of our galaxy. The Milky Way Project seeks help from citizen scientists to classify and catalog bubbles, star clusters, galaxies and more in the Milky Way; there have currently been more than 933,000 classifications.
Learn more about why the Milky Way is so special: