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Cygnus constellation
A 2.5 gigapixel composite image

The image depitces part of Cygnus, a northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way.

Cygnus is one of the most recognizable constellations of the northern summer and autumn, featuring a prominent asterism known as the Northern Cross (in contrast to the Southern Cross), dominated by Deneb (Alfa Cygni), a blue-white supergiant star of visual magnitude 1.3, very bright despite its distance of some 3200 light year from Earth. (Text adapted from Wikipedia)

There is no way to properly present a 2.5 gigapixel image on a computer screen (I am talking about 2.5 billion pixel, or 2500 megapixel, one thousand times higher than a modern digital camera, which can take pictures containing around 20-25 megapixel). For this reason, I thought a videoclip could do a better work showing how much there is in the image. My advise is to watch it with quality set at 720p or 1080p and on full-screen.


You can play with the above zoom-and-pan version (although it doesn't show the full res picture, but a 1-gigapixel version).

A version suitable for desktop wallpaper is downloadable here.

Full-res file is about 2506 megapixels (precisely 2.505.603.136 pixels) with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 13,9 x 13,9 (for comparison, the full-Moon has an angular diameter of about 0,5).
The color composite image is available for museum, planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.

This color image is based on data coming from 33 photographic plates taken between 1987 and 1995 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on three type of glass photographic plates, sensitive to blue-green, red and near-infrared light. Later the plates were digitized. Credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.