One million stars towards the dark heart of the Milky Way*

Eso_eso0949b_500

eso_eso0949b December 11th, 2009

Credit: ESO/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

With this remarkable VISTA mosaic we look deep into the dusty heart of our own Milky Way galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). About one million stars are revealed in this picture, most of them not seen in visible light pictures. As well as absorbing light, the dust also scatters blue light from the distant stars and makes the central part of this huge starscape appear very red. This image is a mosaic created from VISTA images taken through Y, J and Ks filters in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. The image is about 2 degrees by 1.5 degrees in extent. The total exposure time for this mosaic was only 80 seconds. This image is available as a mounted image in the ESOshop #L

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0949b/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Galactic Centre
Subject - Milky Way
Galaxy
Galaxy » Component » Center/Core
Sky Phenomenon » Night Sky » Milky Way

Distance

Universescale1
26,000 light years
Eso_eso0949b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 17h 44m 51.9s
DEC = -29° 25’ 52.3”
Orientation
North is 31.5° CW
Field of View
2.3 x 1.5 degrees
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Infrared (Y) -
Arrow_left_green Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Infrared (J) -
Arrow_left_red Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VIRCAM) Infrared (K) -
Eso_eso0949b_1280
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ID
eso0949b
Subject Category
B.5   B.5.4.9   B.7.1.3  
Subject Name
Galactic Centre
Credits
ESO/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
Lightyears
26,000.0
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0949b/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Distance in light years from the Max-Planck-Institute. (http://www.mpe.mpg.de/SPIFFI/preprints/first_result_an1.pdf)
Facility
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Instrument
VIRCAM, VIRCAM, VIRCAM
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Y, J, K
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
266.216173336, -29.4312012024
Reference Dimension
24245.0, 15566.0
Reference Pixel
12122.5, 7783.0
Scale
-9.48074965842e-05, 9.48074965842e-05
Rotation
-31.520000000000056
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
eso0949b
Metadata Date
2009-11-16T15:44:31+01:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
26,000 light years