Amateur Astrophotographer Creates Largest True-Color Night Sky Panorama

Illustration for article titled Amateur Astrophotographer Creates Largest True-Color Night Sky Panorama

One day, Nick Risinger, a 28-year-old marketing director from Seattle, felt like he needed a change. So he quit his job, packed up six professional astronomical cameras, and hiked 60,000 miles through western United States and South Africa, taking 37,000 color pictures of the night sky.

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The result? This 5000-megapixel, interactive, zoomable map showing our full Milky Way galaxy, stars, planets, and the nebulae surrounding it. It's the largest-ever, true-color, 360 degree panorama of the heavens—all created by this first-time astrophotographer. What's even more remarkable is that it's considered better than previous professional sky surveys—like the Digitized Sky Survey of the 1980s—which were shot only in red and blue.

According to Risinger, his aim was to create an image that had more real feeling: "I wanted to create something that was a true representation of how we could see it, if it were 3,000 times brighter," he said. And lucky for us, he's made it freely available to the public. You can see the incredible Photopic Sky Survey right here: [Sky Survey via Wired]

DISCUSSION

stupidsimple-old
stupidsimple

You know this is just amazing! A 28yr old that needs a change. So he embarks on a two continent trip with 6 professional cameras to gaze at the sky. What a fucking change! I'm jealous. I really am. I'm just a puny Gizmodo commenter of many many years. Countless of hours wasted hours commenting here. Refreshing the page until I see something new. A new interesting article to read. A new response. Meanwhile my job, very demanding, requires my full dedication. But I don't have it anymore. I can't focus. I'm tired. Mentally and physically tired. I'm sick of it all. Just like that guy, I want out too. I want to quit my job, or at least take a long long break, but there is nobody else to pay the next month's bills. Like Sisyphus from ancient mythology I feel like I'm rolling a heavy stone uphill knowing that in the end I will have to do it all over again... So I'm just stuck in here. In an endless struggle with my brain which refuses to focus and be productive. I can't even gaze at the sky. My room has no windows... So this is it Gizmodo. Farewell. It was fun while it lasted! Please delete my account already. Who cares if anyone reads my last cry of agony in the midst of strangers. Back to work. Lets pay some bills....