An Enormous Mosaic Spanning 1,250 Hours of Exposure Time Captures the Milky Way in Incredible Detail



March 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

The Tulip nebula. All pictures © J-P Metsavainio, shared with permission

Twelve years and 1,250 hours of publicity time later, Finnish photographer J-P Metsavainio stitched collectively a massive, 1.7-gigapixel composite detailing each fiery burst and starry expanse dotting the Milky Way. The stellar mosaic paperwork the 125-degree stretch between Taurus to Cygnus and is comprised of 234 particular person pictures that stretch throughout 10,000 pixels. Practically 20 million stars are seen in the expanse.

The continuing undertaking started in 2009, and Metsavainio knew it could take not less than a decade to appreciate. “As a visible artist, the composition of the picture means loads. Throughout the years, I’ve shot a whole bunch of particular person targets from the Milky Way. Every picture taken is an unbiased art work. At the identical time, I at all times stored in my thoughts the wants of the ultimate massive composition,” the photographer stated, noting that he captured the extra pronounced parts, like supernovae, first earlier than filling in the gaps.

After taking pictures with comparatively brief focal size devices the previous few years, Metsavainio plans to make use of this extremely high-resolution panorama as a map as he shifts to longer focal size instruments in the coming months. Discover particulars on Metsavainio’s whole course of, together with specifics on the tools used, on his site, the place you can also discover a bigger portfolio of his galactic tasks. (through PetaPixel)


The complete composite picture in mapped colours from the gentle emitted by ionized parts. Hydrogen = inexperienced, sulfur = pink, and oxygen = blue. (click on to zoom)

The 125-degree stretch from Taurus to Cygnus

Detail of Wolf Rayet Shell round the star WR 134

California Nebulam NGC 1499

Sharpless 124 & the Cocoon Nebula



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