Throwback Thursday: Seeing Through Our Galaxy (Synopsis)

“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” -Johann Lambert

There's a problem with our view of the night sky: beautiful though it is, we're incapable of seeing with our own eyes what the Universe is like from an outsider's perspective. No matter where we are, we're stuck inside our own galaxy, with all its light-blocking and obscuring properties.

Image credit: Richard Payne, of Arizona Astrophotography. Image credit: Richard Payne, of Arizona Astrophotography.

But there's a trick to seeing through it: some wavelengths of light are more transparent to our galaxy's material than others! And when we get there -- when we view it -- the rewards are incomparable, including what we learn about what's there in our own Universe.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / WISE Team. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / WISE Team.

Find out how we see through our galaxy, and discover the whole of the Universe! (Plus don't miss the amazing visual reward at the end!)

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Well, that was totally mind-blowing. IR conversion coming up for the 'scope ! !

Some sort of measurement scale would be handy for comparison of different images. This is pretty normal for scientific images and without a scale there is a lot of ambiguity about relative size between images.

Okay, _now_ I feel like giving thanks for everything.

Much appreciated.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 21 Nov 2014 #permalink