The boyfriend of one of my oldest and dearest friends spent several years creating one of the largest sky-surveys ever created.
Nick Risinger, a 28-year-old native of Seattle, trekked more than 60,000 miles around the western United States and South Africa to create the largest-ever true-color image of the stellar sphere. The final result is an interactive, zoomable sky map showing the full Milky Way and the stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae around it.
Previous professional sky surveys (including the Digitized Sky Survey of the 1980s, which is the source for theWorld Wide Telescope and Google Sky) shot only in red and blue. Including a third color filter gives the new survey a more real feeling, Risinger said.
In all Nick took over 37,000 individual photos that were then stitched together to create his image. Last week he released an iPad App that includes many interactive features. If you are fascinated by space, or want to be, I suggest giving the app a try.