This is the most crystal-clear image of space ever taken

The vastness of space is so expansive, so
inconceivable, that frankly, it makes humanity’s
lot in the universe seem pretty tiny and
pointless.

Amplifying that sense of insignificance, NASA
has released its largest, most detailed image of
space ever ( http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/ ) . Taken by the Hubble
Space Telescope, it captures the Andromeda
Galaxy, one of our nearest galactic neighbors at
a mere 2.5 million light years away.

The full size image is about 60,000 by 22,000
pixels, a total of 1.5 billion pixels. That’s about
1,000 times the resolution of regular high-
definition. It is detailed enough that the
telescope can resolve individual stars in the
61,000 light year-long slice of galaxy captured
by the image—”like photographing a beach and
resolving individual grains of sand,” according to
NASA ( http://www.nasa.gov/content/hubble-s-high-definition-panoramic-view-of-the-andromeda-galaxy/#.VMD-oGTF87g ) . All in
all, there are over 100 million stars in the photo.

And indeed, zooming in on the image does make
it look like a close-up of a beach:

The best way to explore the image is with this
zoom tool ( http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/zoomable/ ) . You can also
download the image—downsized and
compressed, or in full 4.3 GB splendor.

And this is a great video that zooms and pans
over the image. You can watch it in up to 4K
HD:

Author : Zach Wener-Fligner

URL : http://qz.com/331406/this-is-the-most-crystal-clear-image-of-space-ever-taken/

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