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.)


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.)