Both views are equally spectacular, but unequally informative.
Every so often, a creative amateur project highlights our professional achievements.
With his 12-year, 1250 hour Milky Way composite, astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has created a masterpiece.
Spanning 2,750 square degrees — 7% of the entire sky — it makes a 1.7 gigapixel photomosaic.
Comparatively, over 31 years in space, Hubble’s cumulative ~550,000 images reveal less than 1%.
But space confers an advantage: ultra-high resolution.
These 10 examples showcase how space telescopes compare to this composite.
1.) The Bubble Nebula.
Hubble’s narrow-field view reveals intricate stellar features.
2.) The Wizard Nebula.
NASA’S WISE showcases warm gas filaments.
3.) The Crab Nebula.
The central pulsar powers this expanding supernova remnant.
4.) The Cocoon Nebula.
ESA’s Herschel shows heating and ionization from new star-formation.
5.) The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula.
NASA’s Spitzer reveals the warm, evaporating gas inside.
6.) The Pac-Man Nebula.
This Chandra/Spitzer composite reveals new stars amidst the gas.
7.) The Flaming Star Nebula.
These bright clouds house stars,
which boil off the surrounding matter.
8.) The Crescent Nebula.
Hubble’s narrow views only reveals this dying star’s edges.
9.) The Jellyfish Nebula.
A single supernova created this energetic remnant.
10.) The Eagle Nebula.
and the fairy,
give hints of what NASA’s next-generation, wide-field Hubble successor will reveal.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.
Starts With A Bang is written by Ethan Siegel, Ph.D., author of Beyond The Galaxy, and Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive.