UK space scientists boast of developing two telescopes that have helped map out a spectacular field of view of the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.
In a collaborative attempt to have a detailed view of the night sky, researchers from Edinburgh and Cambridge universities sat down 10 years ago and chalked out plans to decode data obtained from the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii and the Vista telescope in Chile.
Now space enthusiasts are presented with an online interactive tool that can be zoomed in to specific regions in the night sky that contain thousands of stellar objects.
Codenamed the Vista Data Flow System, the project has surpassed in scope and magnitude all previous attempts made to simply our immediate cosmos, Dr Nick Cross from the University of Edinburgh said, exclaiming gleefully that it felt surreal when he first had a look at the projection.
“There are about one billion stars in there – this is more than has been in any other image produced by surveys”, Dr Cross said.
The two telescopes used in the project can observe the sky at infrared wavelengths, implying that these two tools can penetrate the dusty core of the Milky Way galaxy that usually impede the field of vision for optical or even radio telescopes.
It is learned that the telescope stationed in Hawaii scans the right side of our Galaxy while the one in Chile sends back images for the mysterious centre as well as the far left.