Milky Way Front and Center
The vantage point of the foothills of the Chilean Andes provides some of the best views of the night sky in the world, especially from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. Earth is oriented in such a way that most of the Milky Way can be seen on a clear night from the southern hemisphere, where CTIO is located. Beneath the oblique arms of our galaxy lie, left to right, the US Naval Observatory Deep South Telescope, DIMM1 Seeing Monitor, CHilean Automatic Supernova sEarch dome, aTmCam (straight back), SMARTS 1.0-meter Telescope, UBC Southern Observatory, and Curtis Schmidt Telescope .
A noteworthy feature of this image is the Milky Way’s galactic center, which appears to set the galaxy itself ablaze. Despite the clouds of interstellar dust obscuring its light, it continues to shine with the light of millions of stars. From our point of view, the heart of the Milky Way is located in the direction of constellations Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, and Scorpius; and at its core lies a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. With plenty of celestial treats for the taking, telescopes at CTIO strive to capture them all!
This gigantic 250-megapixel photo was taken as part of the NOIRLab 2022 Photo Expedition to all the NOIRLab sites.Credit:
About the Image
|Release date:||Aug. 23, 2023, noon|
|Size:||18000 x 14407 px|