Oh my God, it’s full of stars

About 1,000,000,000 of them in this amazing composite photograph of the Milky Way. Taking 10 years to make and using 2 telescopes (to get a view from North and South hemispheres) it combines the UKIDSS/GPS sky survey acquired by the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii with the VVV survey data acquired by the Vista telescope in Chile.

This zoomable image is truly magnificent; to get an idea of scale of the number of visible stars, if you count them at a rate of 1 per second it will take you well over 30 years to count them all.

Happy Counting!