A Milky Way ‘Mixer’ Amongst the Stars

This oval image represents a view of the entire sky unfolded and laid out flat. Running horizontally across the middle of the oval is a bright line of white, which is light emitted by gas and dust in the plane of the Milky Way. Mottled red fills the oval with a few areas of yellow, especially along the plane of the Milky Way and extending above and below it. Over all of this, in the center, is a thick ring of blue.
Historical DateFebruary 4, 2015
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A festive portrait of our Milky Way galaxy shows a mishmash of gas, charged particles, and several types of dust. The composite image comes from ESA's (European Space Agency's) Planck mission, in which NASA plays an important role. It is constructed from observations made at microwave and millimeter wavelengths of light which are longer than what we see with our eyes.