The Entire WISE Sky

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

I love maps like this where astronomers take the entire night sky and project it so we can view it in two dimen­sions. Zoom into and explore the entire sky infrared mosaic from the Wide-field Infrared Sur­vey Explorer (WISE). Some things to note in the image. The bright swath across the cen­ter is the Milky Way Galaxy; our home galaxy. The view is toward the cen­ter of the galaxy with the spi­ral arms stretch­ing to the edges. Some arti­facts were left in such as bright red spots off the plane of the galaxy. These are Sat­urn, Jupiter and Mars.

[UPDATED: The WISE web­site has a anno­tated guide to the objects found within the entire WISE Sky image. Click on the image for a closer view.]

Read more and down­load the 10000x5030 pixel infra­li­cious image here.


Sarah Q. Brett 16-03-2012, 11:58

What is the blue orb shape in the middle?

What are the bright spots that are mid-bottom of shot towards the right and the greenish-yellowish one right above the middle?

This is awe­some! Peo­ple are like cater­pil­lars in a gar­den; when a cater­pil­lar only knows about life in the gar­den; the moun­tains, the oceans, the val­leys and mead­ows beyond the gar­den exist, but until the cater­pil­lar goes through the Chrysalis stage and emerges from its cocoon with wings allow­ing it to fly beyond the gar­den; the cater­pil­lar will never actu­ally know those places exist. Why? The cater­pil­lar is sup­posed to focus on life in the gar­den and eat the best leaves and “be” a cater­pil­lar. When the cater­pil­lar is ready to become a but­ter­fly; it will; but only when it has done all a cater­pil­lar can do in a garden.

It is great that we look beyond our planet to search for other life forms; but while all sorts of time, money, tech­nol­ogy, brain power, etc… is focused on the Uni­verse beyond our tiny gar­den planet; our tiny gar­den planet, our atmos­pheric life per­mit­ting, mirac­u­lous Mother Earth…is being raped, pol­luted and stripped of all its nat­ural resources for the short term ben­e­fit of the human population.

Igno­rance must be bliss or we need to rede­fine “intelligent”…people, open your eyes and “see”, you have them for a rea­son; lis­ten with your ears; you can hear for a rea­son; use your minds, you have the abil­ity to think, for a rea­son. You have the power to trans­form the world; look at what you are doing to it…the whole world is in your hands…literally at your fin­ger­tips with the internet.

With all that we know and all we have learned; why aren’t we doing a bet­ter job at being guardians of this world? Are we dev­ils or angels? Hmmm…they say that the devil is the mas­ter of fire; well, humans have used fire to sep­a­rate them­selves from the nat­ural world; for survival…to be the fittest. We have used heat to trans­form the nat­ural resources of the planet into man-made, con­crete, pol­lu­tion gen­er­at­ing metrop­o­lises.
LOL. We are what we fear the most and don’t even real­ize it. Hah. I guess the jokes on? Us?

CritterKeeper 16-03-2012, 15:55

The Milky Way, our home galaxy, runs through the cen­ter of the image. The image is cen­tered on the cen­ter of the Milky Way. Our galaxy is a barred spi­ral galaxy (sim­i­lar to this image of NGC 1672 — with a large cen­tral bulge of stars that tapers out to the tips of the spi­ral arms. Some galax­ies, like this image of ESO 243–49 ( show us this struc­ture really well. Earth is about two-thirds of the dis­tance from the cen­ter to the edge of the galaxy (, so we see a great many stars toward the center.

About the objects below the disk of the galaxy. These are the Small and Large Mag­el­lanic Clouds. Both are nearby dwarf galax­ies about 170,000 light-years from Earth. Both can be seen in the skies of the south­ern hemi­sphere as cloud-like objects in the sky. They are not vis­i­ble from North Amer­ica. The Large Mag­el­lanic Cloud is home to one of the largest star-producing neb­u­lae that we know about.

Here is a full anno­ta­tion of the image. —

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The ancient peo­ples saw pic­tures in the sky. From those pat­terns in the heav­ens, ancient sto­ry­tellers cre­ated leg­ends about heroes, maid­ens, drag­ons, bears, cen­taurs, dogs and myth­i­cal crea­tures…
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