This week the noted photographer and optics engineer, Stéphane Guisard posted a stunning mosaic image of the Milky Way captured at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile.
The mosaic is constructed from 52 fields, shot over 29 nights, and consists of 1200 separate photos and 1 billion pixels. The image transports us to the centre of the Milky Way, giving us a scalable and zoomable encounter with literally millions of stars.
As Guisard notes, "it shows the region spanning from Sagittarius (with the Milky Way center and M8/M20 area on the left) to Scorpius (with colorful Antares and Rho Ophiuchus region on the right) and Cat Paw nebula (red nebula at the bottom)."
This is the galaxy in extreme fidelity. Enjoy getting lost in the detail.