NASA Releases Photo of the Entire Universe

wiseuniverse

This is a mosaic of the images covering the entire sky as observed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), part of its All-Sky Data Release.

The sky can be thought of as a sphere that surrounds us in three dimensions. To make a map of the sky, astronomers project it into two dimensions. Many different methods can be used to project a spherical surface into a 2-D map. The projection used in this image of the sky is called Aitoff, named after the geographer who invented it. It takes the 3-D sky sphere and slices open one hemisphere, and then flattens the whole thing out into an oval shape

The WISE catalog of the entire sky meets the mission’s fundamental objective. The individual WISE exposures have been combined into an atlas of more than 18,000 images covering the sky and a catalog listing the infrared properties of more than 560 million individual objects found in the images. Most of the objects are stars and galaxies, with roughly equal numbers of each. Many of them have never been seen before.

For a collection of WISE images released to date, visit: http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_images.html

An introduction and quick guide to accessing the WISE all-sky archive for astronomers is online at:http://wise2.ipac.caltech.edu/docs/release/allsky/

Instructions for technically minded individuals wanting to try their hand at using the archive are at:http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/wise_image_service.html

For more information about WISE, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/wisehttp://wise.astro.ucla.edu and http://jpl.nasa.gov/wise .

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