This image may look like a cloudy sunset reflected over the ocean — it's actually a shot of the Milky Way, as seen by the ESA's Planck Satellite. The unique perspective reveals previously unseen characteristics of our galaxy. And it may provide crucial insights into how the universe was born.
The stars you see above represent just one tiny selection from an absolutely gargantuan new image of the Milky Way's galactic plane. Combining thousands of images taken over the last two years, it's the ultimate landscape of the night sky.
This is galaxy NGC 660, located some twenty million light-years away. It's a very rare type of galaxy known as a polar galaxy, where the vast majority of the galaxy is located at a right angle to its galactic plane.
A new telescope, tuned to view far infrared wavelengths of light, created the highest resolution images ever of our galactic plane. And it reveals a galaxy more in turmoil than scientists expected. Doesn't it look like a weird energy creature?