Oct 30, 2009

3,000 Images Used to Make Panorama of the Milky Way!

Oh how -FUPPETS- loves astronomy. The world's oldest science is also it's most technologically advanced, and this provides -FUPPETS- with many occasions to love on the sights and wonders of outer space.
Dr. Axel Mellinger, of Central Michigan University, has used intricate mathematical models and over 3,000 images to create this PANORAMA OF THE MILKY WAY. ( <--- click to see the image ) What a beautiful thing. In today's world, most people live in cities. These cities are all illuminated artificially at night so most people in the world do not live day to day (or night to night) with the full spread of the Milky Way galaxy overhead. This used to be a constant companion to mankind, but ever since Thomas Edison crafted his filament and incandescent bulb, humans have brightened the night and dimmed the stars. The immense corrections needed to combine all these images are mind-boggling.
To combine these images, a simple cutting and pasting job would not suffice. Each photograph is a two-dimensional projection of the celestial sphere. As such, each one contains distortions, in much the same way that flat maps of the round Earth are distorted. In order for the images to fit together seamlessly, those distortions had to be accounted for. To do that, Mellinger used a mathematical model — and hundreds of hours in front of a computer.
Another problem he had to deal with was the differing background light in each photograph.
"Due to artificial light pollution, natural air glow, as well as sunlight scattered by dust in our solar system, it is virtually impossible to take a wide-field astronomical photograph that has a perfectly uniform background," Mellinger said.
To fix this, Mellinger used data from the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes. The data allowed him to distinguish star light from unwanted background light. He could then edit out the varying background light in each photograph and fit them together so that they wouldn't look patchy. - ( Space.com )


Since -FUPPETS- is talking about the Milky Way, here is a fitting video for you to enjoy.

THE CHURCH - Under The Milky Way

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