This Map Is the Most Complete Catalog Ever Made of Everything in Our Sky

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

We look up into our sky and we think what we see there—the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon—is incredible, but it’s just a small fraction of what lies beyond.

The Max Planck Institute has released a brand new version of its all-sky survey, which is revealed in a new article in Astronomy & Astrophysics. It’s the most comprehensive look at the objects in our sky ever completed. The original survey was done in 1990, after the ROSAT X-ray satellite was launched to gather data on what else is out there. With this new map, researchers say they’ve pinpointed the sources for every known body emitting X-rays in our sky.

In addition to the map, the institute is also in the process assembling a catalog of some of the faintest, dimmest objects on the map which you’ll be able to check out right here.


Although this map, called the 2RXS catalog, is currently the deepest view at our sky, it won’t hold onto its crown for much longer. A new X-ray satellite will be launched in 2017, and researchers are already planning an even more expansive look at what’s out there using the data from that mission.