Fireworks in the Milky Way
NASA – This enormous section of the Milky Way Galaxy is a mosaic of images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus are featured in this 1,000-square degree expanse. These constellations, named after an ancient Queen and King of Ethiopia in Greek mythology, are visible in the northern sky every night of the year as seen from most of the United States.
The sky can be thought of as a sphere that surrounds us in three dimensions. To make a map of the sky, astronomers project it into two dimensions. Many different methods can be used to project a spherical surface into a 2-D map. The projection used in this image of the sky is called Aitoff, named after the geographer who invented it. It takes the 3-D sky sphere and slices open one hemisphere, and then flattens the whole thing out into an oval shape.
Any projection creates distortions, so people tend to use a particular projection type based on where in the resulting map the distortions are minimal.
Creating Color Pictures Using Images
From NASA’s Wide-field Survey Explorer (WISE) Mission
These instructions explain the basic processes for creating a color picture using images downloaded from the WISE Science Data Archive. First, we’ll provide an overview of the general steps you’ll take to create color images, and then we’ll describe several different image processing programs that you can use to take these steps. (more)
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a space telescope that mapped the entire sky in infrared wavelengths. It scanned the entire sky while continuously taking images in four different wavelengths of infrared light. Most of WISE’s primary mission occurred during 2010, during which it took more than 2.7 million images, capturing objects ranging from faraway galaxies to asteroids relatively close to Earth.
People across the globe can now find and download these images directly from the WISE archive. In other words, anyone with an internet connection now has free access to high-resolution infrared images of any object in the night sky*, images that can only be taken from space. These instructions will explain exactly how to get the images you want. more> http://is.gd/vcgP7v
* Currently 57% percent of the sky is available for download. In Spring 2012, the entire sky will become available.