Scientists constructed the mosaic from 800,000 individual images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope during a five-year period. Pixel junkies can salivate at the thought of 2.5 billion pixels that help make the image pop.Spitzer's infrared views covered about half the entire Milky Way in this particular view. For stargazers, that translates into an area of sky as wide as a pointer finger and as long as the length of arms wide open.
People who can't get enough of galactic scenery can check out Spitzer's earlier collaborative work with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which provides a three-way view of the Milky Way center.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.