Thursday, October 14, 2010

GigaGalaxy Zoom - From The Eye To The Telescope

In the framework of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, ESO has launched a new project aimed at connecting the sky as seen by the unaided eye with that seen by hobby and professional astronomers.

The project, called GigaGalaxy Zoom, reveals three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that online stargazers can zoom in on and explore in an incredible level of detail. The reward is the most breathtaking dive ever made into our Galaxy, linking the sky seen by all with the cosmos studied by astronomers.

In this episode of ESOcast we will explore the unique and amazing GigaGalaxy Zoom project, which reveals the whole night sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth.

The project allows users to zoom in on a rich region of the Milky Way with the magnification offered by a hobby telescope and then to go one step further, using the power of a professional telescope to explore details of an iconic nebula.

Most of the photographs comprising the three GigaGalaxy Zoom images were taken from La Silla and Paranal, two of ESOs observing sites in Chile. The wonderful quality of the images is a testament to the splendour of the night sky at these ESO sites, which are the most productive astronomical observatories in the world.


ESOcast is produced by ESO, the European Southern Observatory. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the pre-eminent intergovernmental science and technology organisation in astronomy designing, constructing and operating the worlds most advanced ground-based telescopes.

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