STScI | IfA | CfA | 2016 Dec 19
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in Honolulu, Hawaii, is publicly releasing data today from Pan-STARRS -- the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System -- the world’s largest digital sky survey. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is among the partners who contributed to the Pan-STARRS1 Surveys.
- This compressed view of the entire sky visible from Hawaii by the Pan-STARRS1 Observatory is the result of half a million exposures, each about 45 seconds in length, taken over a period of 4 years. The shape comes from making a map of the celestial sphere, like a map of the Earth, but leaving out the southern quarter. The disk of the Milky Way looks like a yellow arc, and the dust lanes show up as reddish brown filaments. The background is made up of billions of faint stars and galaxies. If printed at full resolution, the image would be 1.5 miles long, and you would have to get close and squint to see the detail. Credit: Danny Farrow, Pan-STARRS1 Science Consortium and Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
“The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys allow anyone to access millions of images and use the database and catalogs containing precision measurements of billions of stars and galaxies,” said Dr. Ken Chambers, Director of the Pan-STARRS Observatories. “Pan-STARRS has made discoveries from near Earth objects and Kuiper belt objects in the solar system to lonely planets between the stars; it has mapped the dust in three dimensions in our galaxy and found new streams of stars; and it has found new kinds of exploding stars and distant quasars in the early universe.”
“With this release we anticipate that scientists -- as well as students and even casual users -- around the world will make many new discoveries about the universe from the wealth of data collected by Pan-STARRS,” Chambers added.
The four years of data comprise 3 billion separate sources, including stars, galaxies, and various other objects. The immense collection contains 2 petabytes of data, which is equivalent to one billion selfies, or one hundred times the total content of Wikipedia.
Pan-STARRS Releases Catalogue of 3 Billion Astronomical Sources
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy | Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics | 2016 Dec 19