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Space Science

The Night Sky In 800 Million Pixels 120

An anonymous reader recommends a project carried out recently by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier. Brunier traveled to the top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and to the Chilean desert to capture 1,200 images — each one a 6-minute exposure — of the night sky. The photos were taken between August 2008 and February 2009 and required more than 30 full nights under the stars. Tapissier then processed the images together into a single zoomable, 800-megapixel, 360-degree image of the sky in which the Earth is embedded. "It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — it's constellations... whose names have nourished all childhoods, it's myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera." The image is the first of three portraits produced by the European Southern Observatory's GigaGalaxy Zoom project.
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The Night Sky In 800 Million Pixels

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  • Wow, who ever thought that the simpletons on Free Republic would give a shit about stars?

  • by T1girl ( 213375 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @12:07AM (#29576279) Homepage

    Most people who live in cities never get to see even a fraction of the night sky. Even thougb I live in rural Colorado where we can see the Milky Way fairly regularly, I want to thank you so much for sharing with everyone what we are missing out on, night after night. This is way better than TV.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) * on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @02:28AM (#29577065)

    You can't actually see the 800-megapixel image. You have to contact the photographer to get the full-resolution image

    They have a couple of decent sized static images, some desktop sizes, and one that dynamically loads when you zoom in, ala google maps. I don't know if the last one goes to the full 800MP when you zoom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @03:06AM (#29577271)

    Splendid. For those of us who 'know nothing', it would be useful to have some orientation. Where is the so-called Pole Star or Southern Cross? Big Dipper/Plough? And which is the spot of the Hubble deep field?

  • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:46AM (#29578935)

    Yeah what a jackass. He spends 30 entire nights over 6 months doing photography (something that he appears to do as part of his profession) and then expects to maintain a little bit of creative control over his work? Pffft!

    Sarcasm aside, grow up a bit. He's made the zoomable version available, and even aside from that 18MP is pretty darn good. It's a good quality image you are working with, and you could do quite a bit with it. I've made 40" long prints from 6.7MP images and they end up looking very good. You could do pretty darn good with an 18MP image. If you want to make a print for yourself, you could make a damn good one from that (he might not appreciate it, but he'd never know). If you just want to look at it, use the zoomable version. If you want to do more than that, you could at least expend the effort to stitch together screenshots taken while panning across the zoomed in image. Or better yet, get your ass down there for 6 months and take them yourself.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.