This Is the Clearest Infrared Panorama of the Milky Way Ever Captured

You're looking at the clearest infrared panorama of the Milky Way ever captured. At 20 gigapixels, it's going to take you a long time to check the whole thing out.

Unveiled at the TEDActive 2014 Conference in Vancouver, Canada, yesterday, the panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared images taken over the past 10 years by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. You can explore the huge image online.

The result is big. Very big. Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA's Spitzer Space Science Center explains just how big:

"If we actually printed this out, we'd need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it. Instead we've created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use."

Thank goodness! Go take a look now. [NASA]