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A huge map of the Milky Way shows over 3.3 billion stars

© DECaPS2 / DOE / FNAL / DECam / CTIO / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA Image processing: M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)

Astronomers have released the most detailed star map yet of a portion of the Milky Way galaxy. in it about 3.32 billion celestial bodies registered. For this 21,400 single shots and more 10 terabytes of the data collected.

The map came Two years away from Dark energy camera from Interamerican Cerro Tololo Observatory of the National Science Foundation in Chile. The full map of DECaPS2 surveys available to the public in high definition (here). She appears galaxy discHow to get it from Southern Hemisphere look. however 6.5% of the night sky Covered.

Individual stars are difficult to identify

The researchers recorded light in the visual and near-infrared spectrum. The big challenge was identifying the individual objects. There are many more in this part of the Milky Way soil, which absorbs starlight, making it difficult to see dim objects. light it cosmic nebulae It also makes it difficult to measure the brightness of individual objects.

Also, there are so many stars in this area that it is hard to tell them apart. They overlap in the shot and it’s hard to tell what’s in the background and what’s in the foreground.

A new way to process data

Despite this, the team managed to create the largest sky atlas to date with 3.32 billion stars. The reason for this, according to the leader of the study Andrew Sedgary from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsTo put the camera in a private area high star density rule, he says in the current situation.

with the near infrared camera They peered through a lot of dust. They also use one A new way to process data (study) to predict what lies behind the star. This allowed them to calculate how nebulae and dense star clusters affect the image and make the map more accurate. Results appeared in Trade Journal Astrophysical Journal. In 2021, the team has already published a map of the outer Milky Way (Futurezone reported).