Planck Takes Magnetic Fingerprint of Our Galaxy

This oval image represents a view of the entire sky unfolded and laid out flat. Across the middle is a line of dark brown, with a swirl of brown around the center of the image. At the edges the line of brown becomes wider and more diffuse. These lines and swirls of brown are embedded in an off-white mottled background. Throughout the image are lines running generally parallel to the central bar of brown, but with some wave-like deviations above and below it. Some of the oval on the top and near the bottom is just a flat tan color, which represents places where there is no magnetic field information.
May 6, 2014
CreditESA and the Planck Collaboration
Historical DateMay 6, 2014
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This image shows the magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by the Planck satellite, an ESA (European Space Agency) mission with significant NASA contributions. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.