A color all-sky panorama image of the Milky Way

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30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes the assembly of an optical (RGB) all-sky mosaic image with an image scale of 36″ pixel-1, a limiting magnitude of approximately 14 mag, and an 18 bit dynamic range. Using a portable low-cost CCD camera system, 70 fields (each covering 40° x 27°) were imaged over a time span of 22 months from dark-sky locations in South Africa, Texas, and Michigan. The fields were photometrically calibrated against standard catalog stars. Using sky background data from the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes, gradients resulting from artificial light pollution, airglow, and zodiacal light were eliminated, while the large-scale galactic and extragalactic background resulting from unresolved sources was preserved. The 648 megapixel image is a valuable educational tool, being able to fully utilize the resolution and dynamic range of modern full-dome planetarium projection systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1187
Number of pages8
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume121
Issue number885
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

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