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Unstrange Phenomena

17 March 2010

Check Out This Tripping New Look for the Milky Way

Check out how cosmic dust creates a fiery lion-like mane for the Milky Way!/Image: ESA and the HFI Consortium, IRAS

From Denny: The Milky Way is finally getting its "propers." This Planck telescope captured this showy fiery mane by surveying the sky in four massive sweeps. In the video clip you can see how the telescope is scanning the entire sky while in orbit.

So, what are you looking at here?

These diva style dust clouds are within about 500 lights years of the sun. The horizontal white stripe in this far-infrared photo is the Milky Way's spiral disk. What's odd in this photo is that the white stripe is warmer and all the reddish tones are actually colder.

It was the European Space Agency that put the Planck telescope into orbit back in May 2009. To date, this telescope is creating the best ever of the cosmic radiation background that is left over from the original Big Bang scientists think happened 13.7 billion years ago.

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