May 162011

Here’s one good reason to quit your day job: spend a year or so lugging a set of six astrophotography cameras across two continents, to take some 37,000 exposures of the night sky and stitch them together into an amazing all-sky picture called The Photopic Sky Survey. The scientific value of this picture may be negligible, but it is beautiful to look at, and I am sorely tempted to buy a high-quality print to hang somewhere on my wall. It is one of those pictures that give a true sensation of depth: you can see how nearby stars slowly dissolve into a diffuse, milky background, you can see how dust lanes obscure the Milky Way behind, you can see how the light of distant galaxies filters through. I wonder how a picture like this would have influenced The Great Debate.

 Posted by at 12:49 pm