The Whole Sky Seen in Infrared

Okay, shift your eyes into the infrared, and then look up into the night sky. What? You can’t see in infrared? Ah well, you’ll have to just enjoy this photograph of the entire sky, seen by the Japanese AKARI probe.

Launched back in February 2006, AKARI has been working away to map the entire sky in various wavelengths of infrared light. Just in the last year, it completed these all-sky observations in six different wavelength bands, and has now imaged 90 of the entire sky. It has also performed detailed observations on about 3,500 specific targets.

The picture attached to this story is the infrared sky at nine micrometres. The bright stripe extending across the middle of the image is disc of our own Milky Way galaxy. The bright regions in the disc are sites of newly born stars.

This sky map will give astronomers a much better understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems.

Original Source: ESA News Release