For eight years astronomers at an observatory in Apache Point, New Mexico have been mapping the sky. Using technology that was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics, they have produced the most extensive colour map of the universe. To date, 930,000 galaxies and 120,000 quasars. With a 2.5 meter telescope, a 120 mega pixel camera, fibre optics, and digital imaging they are able to “map” an area of the sky eight times larger than the area of the moon, in a single “observation”. Or roughly 600 galaxies and quasars in every glimpse.
Wrap your head around the vastness of the universe, if it doesn’t humble a pondering mind I don’t know what will. The picture below contains 1.2 billion pixels. Every yellow dot is a galaxy.
Image Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey