Astronomers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have produced the largest ever astronomical image: a 46 billion pixel monster that takes up 194 Gb as a file. It is available as an online resource, which viewers can use to zoom in on areas of interest, or search for particular objects – this section shows Eta Carinae. The image was made by a group led by Prof. Rolf Chini using data from five years of observations at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum’s observatory in Chile. The team combined 268 individual images and, as a result, identified more than 50,000 new transient objects (Hackstein et al. Astronomical Notes, doi:10.1002/asna.201512195). They also developed the tools to make this data resource useable online.
This image is published in the December 2015 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.