View Full Version : Amazing, Interactive, Panoramic, 360-view of Entire Night Sky Unveiled

09-19-2009, 03:30 AM
The first of three GigaGalaxy Zoom project images — a new 800-million-pixel panorama of the entire sky, as seen from ESO’s observing sites in Chile — has been released online.

The project allows stargazers to explore and experience the Universe as it is seen with the unaided eye from the darkest and best viewing locations in the world.
One thousand billions worlds

New: the sky of the Earth in Virtual Reality
Best with F11 (full screen)

New: Dreaming journey in our Galaxy (very short movie)

This is the sky of the Earth. The vault of heaven, which in reality envelops us in a dark velvet sphere spotted with stars, is seen here projected onto a plane.

This improbable 360-degree panoramic image, covering the whole of the vault of heaven, embodies thus the cosmic landscape in which our small blue planet is immersed.

A landscape that unfolds progressively, one season at a time, while our planet follows its perpetual course around the Sun. This image was created in the framework of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009), with crucial help from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The images were collected from two exceptional astronomical sites, the Atacama Desert in the southern hemisphere and the Caldeira de Taburiente in the Canary Islands in the northern hemisphere.

It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — its constellations, its thousands year old stars, whose names have nourished all childhoods, its myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera.