A STUNNING image has been revealed that shows our ENTIRE universe.
The amazing picture is dominated by large segments of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Extraordinary … first all-sky image from the Planck telescope
A bright horizontal light – the galaxy’s main disc – runs the full length of the image.
This is the plane in which the Sun and the Earth reside.
The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe’s Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the “oldest light” in the cosmos.
Dr Jan Tauber, a Planck project scientist, said: “It’s a spectacular picture; it’s a thing of beauty”.
It took the £496million observatory just over six months to assemble the map.
British astronomers helped reveal the unique pictures.
Professor Peter Ade from Cardiff University, part of the satellite design and construction team, was delighted with the result.
He said: “It is a fantastic result for this unique satellite, and demonstrates once again that you can only do pioneering science by using advanced and therefore high-risk technologies.
“At last we can see the realisation of the full potential of Planck, showing in exquisite detail our own Milky Way galaxy superimposed on the relic fireball background.”
“From the closest portions of the Milky Way to the furthest reaches of space and time, the new all-sky image offers an extraordinary treasure chest of new data for astronomers.”
The main disc of our own galaxy, The Milky Way, runs across the centre of the image.
Immediately striking are the streamers of cold dust reaching above and below the Milky Way.
This galactic web is where new stars are being formed and Planck has found many locations where individual stars are edging toward birth or just beginning their cycle of development.
The satellite was launched by the European Space Agency – and sent nearly a million miles into space to record the origins of the universe.
The Planck observatory’s job was to look at the age, contents and evolution of the cosmos by studying the heat left behind by the Big Bang.
The telescope was named in honour of German scientist Max Planck who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918.