Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gigagalaxy Zoom

Being an astronomer in the end, I thought, I should post something astronomical as a change.
This link leads to a project done by ESO.

It's called the 'Giga Galaxy Zoom', and basically, it is a huge zoomable image. Of you go there, click on the 'zoom' button and use the java application to zoom around in the milkyway. It's a stunning picture and has been taken with a rather small telescope (well, for todays professional comparison, that is), a 2.2 meter mirror telescope at La Silla in Chile, using the Wide Field Imager, which was incidently also used to get data for the Combo-17 survey, one of the surveys that I am using for my science. It's kind of the 'motherÄ project of bith GEMS and STAGES which are the actual data I'm using to examine how galaxies evolve over time. Combo-17 determined the colors of galaxies very acurately and was able to derive redshifts (distances or 'ages') of the galaxies we look at. It's a cool instrument with a rather big field of view, which is why ESO chose it for this project.

Here are some small example pictures. They are only tiny cutouts from the project, but give a good impression of the quality.

Go on, have a look on

You can download some pictures (25 MB files, but not the 800 MB full resolution data, though) here.

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