This is the magnetic field along the galactic plane, imaged from the polarized emission of dust detected by the Planck satellite. Planck operated between 2009 and 2013, and mapped the cosmic microwave background and significant foreground emission. The colour scale represents the total intensity of dust emission, revealing the filamentary structure of interstellar clouds in the Milky Way. The texture is based on measurements of the direction of the polarized light emitted by the dust, which in turn indicates the orientation of the magnetic field.
This image is published in the February 2015 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.