Astronomers reveal – the night sky!

The European Southern Observatory in Chile has had an astronomer, Serge Brunier, photograph the southern skies, then nip over to La Palma to do the northern ones. Then fellow astronomer Frederic Tapissier stitched the photos together to give a 360 degree, 800 million pixel picture of the entire (unaided eye in perfect conditions) night sky – the GigaGalaxy Zoom project.

Produced as part of the International Year of Astronomy, 2009, the website can be viewed as a constellation map, a zoomable map of the entire picture or as a list of fifteen interesting astronomical things that can be captured using just a camera (M31, the Pleiades and Jupiter, all of which I’ve snapped and blogged with similar methods, all appear as does the Orion Nebula, my intended next target, and several others, some of which I’m in the wrong hemisphere for, some of which I’m at the wrong time of year for, the rest of which I can add to the target list). The fifteen photographic (or binocular/small telescope) sights are:

  1. Magellanic Clouds (southern hemisphere) dwarf galaxies
  2. H and Chi Persei, star clusters in Perseus
  3. Jupiter – planet (add to that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, even Uranus and maybe Neptune)
  4. NGC7000, nebula next to M39 star cluster
  5. The Orion Nebula
  6. The Southern Cross (southern hemisphere)
  7. Andromeda Galaxy
  8. Carina Nebula (Southern Hemisphere)
  9. Omega Centauri, globular cluster
  10. M35 star cluster
  11. Pleiades star cluster and reflection nebula
  12. Rosette Nebula
  13. M33 Galaxy
  14. NGCs 6193 and 6231, star clusters
  15. The Eagle and Swan Nebulae
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