Saturday, October 24, 2015

This 46-gigapixel image is the biggest map of space ever made

Astronomers at Germany's Ruhr-Universitat Bochum have unveiled the largest space map ever compiled on Friday. The image is composited from some 268 individual shots captured over the past five years and spans a staggering 46 billion pixels. That's 855,000 by 54,000 pixels. "If you would want to display this in full resolution on full HD TV screens, you would need more than 22,000 screens," Moritz Hackstein, a PhD candidate who conducted the survey as part of his thesis, told CBS News.

At 197 GB in size, this image is so enormous that you actually need a purpose-built web viewer to properly explore it all. With it, Moritz and the rest of the team hope to find stars which are occasionally obscured by orbiting planets or other objects. So far, they've spotted more than 50,000 such stars.

[Image Credit: Lehrstuhl für Astrophysik / Ruhr-Universität Bochum]