You must think that I’m somehow obsessed with astrophotography. The truth is that I’ve never had a go at it, but I do find it fascinating and I adore star-gazing. This means I did let out a small ‘Squee!’ when I saw that the largest ever colour image of the whole sky has just been released. It comprises seven million images, each one made of 125 million pixels. That’s a lot of pixels. (More than a trillion, in fact.)
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has been compiling data using a now-retired telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico since 1998. This week, they released the humungous picture at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.
The image provides astronomers and astrophysicists with massive amounts of information to explore everything from yawning black holes to the tiniest stars.