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Three stunning high-res space images from Chile

By John Bowman, CBCNews.ca.

The European Southern Observatory has released three high-resolution images of the night sky in Chile as part of its celebration of the International Year of Astronomy.

The first image was a representation of the entire night sky as visible to the naked eye. Astrophotographers Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier took over 1,200 pictures over a period of several months with a Nikon D3 digital camera. The resulting composite image is an 800-megapixel, 360-degree panorama. (Interactive version on GigaGalaxyZoom.org.)

The second image is an image of the central region of the Milky Way, as seen through a 10-centimetre amateur telescope. Of course, the "amateur" telescope was being used by Stéphane Guisard, an ESO optical engineer. (Interactive version on GigaGalaxyZoom.org.)

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(ESO)

The third image, of the Lagoon Nebula, was obtained from the Wide Field Imager on a 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. (Interactive version on GigaGalaxyZoom.org. Full 668 MB TIFF file.)

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