Behold: the stars at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy imaged by the Dark Energy Camera at the Cerro Tololo observatory in Chile.
The first image, while vast, shows a mere 10 million of the estimated 100-400 billion stars of the Milky Way, which is only one one of an estimated 2 trillion galaxies in the Universe.
Have your melon properly twisted by the full sized zoomable version here.
Behold: a glorious star-field toward the northern constellation Perseus spanning some four full moons (about 2 degrees), composed over three nights, last weekend. Yeah, so? What about it? To wit:
…it holds the famous pair of open or galactic star clusters h and Chi Persei with comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 T2) captured each night as it swept left to right across the field of view. Also cataloged as NGC 869 (right) and NGC 884, both star clusters are about 7,000 light-years away and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun. Separated by only a few hundred light-years, the clusters are both 13 million years young based on the ages of their individual stars, evidence that they were likely a product of the same star-forming region. Discovered in 2017 while still beyond the orbit of Saturn, Comet PanSTARRs is a new visitor to the inner solar system and just over 13 light-minutes from planet Earth. Always a rewarding sight in binoculars, the Double Cluster is even visible to the unaided eye from dark locations. C/2017 T2 could remain a telescopic comet though. One of the brightest comets anticipated in 2020 it makes its closest approach to the Sun in early May.
(Image: Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST))
Photographer Lincoln Harrison spends up to 15 hours creating these incredible images of night skies in the Australian Outback. Using several cameras and a wide assortment of lenses, Harrison captures multiple exposures of the foreground and stars separately, combining them (often in their hundreds) to create the images.
More at Harrison’s Flickr set.