Our Milky Way looks like a spiral disk and the solar system is located in one of the galaxy’s spiral arm. Our Sun is located on the outer third of the Milky Way Galaxy. NASA has released the latest view of our galaxy, the Milky Way. More than 2 million infrared pictures which were captured in the last decade by the NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has been used to create an incredible new image of our Milky Way Galaxy in the form of a vast mosaic image. The mosaic image which is Zoomable provides a 360 degree panoramic view of the Milky Way.
The mosaic image is huge and of 20 Giga Pixel. It uses the WorldWide Telescope visualization from Microsoft. It includes only 3% of the sky but represents more than 50% of the stars in our milky way. This has been possible by focusing the image on the plane of the galaxy as it is seen from the earth. Most of the pictures form a part of the Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) project. Additional pictures were captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).
The Spitzer telescope data has enabled the scientists to develop a reliable and more accurate representation of the Milky Way in infra red images. The Spitzer Telescope was launched in 2003 and has been capturing images in the infrared spectrum. Earlier a picture which provided a 130 degree view of the galaxy was released. It is for the first time that a 360 degree view of the galaxy is available and includes the complete Spitzer telescope images.
The latest 360 Degree view of the Milky Way galaxy will also serve as a road map for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope from NASA. The latest image will help astronomers to focus their attention on the most interesting regions of star formation and obtain even more comprehensive infrared images.