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Grand mosaic of the Milky Way is now larger than ever (astroanarchy.blogspot.com)
141 points by MrSlo 32 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 60 comments

Is there a higher resolution image of this available anywhere? The 7000 x 1150 one is nice, but I couldn't find a link to anything larger. It says the original is 120,000 x 18,000 so it was a little disappointing to have the available version not even fill the vertical resolution of my monitor.

Yeah I'd pay for a full resolution version so I can get this printed across my entire wall. Despite the "high" resolution of many of the pictures on the page, not a single one is high enough resolution to print much larger than A3 or so while still seeing the stars/details.

Author is a professional photographer. Suspect that, with an email and a pile of cash, they’d license you the work.

I also was hoping to find a higher resolution image I could buy to print out somehow. The full resolution is 18k x 120k pixels. At 300 DPI that works out to be 60 x 400 inches. Or 5 feet tall and 33 feet and 3 inches long, or close to 2 meters high and 10 meters long.

I think I might have a hallway that it could fit in, but wow that’s big!

He's selling (up to A2 or so) prints via https://astroanarchy.zenfolio.com/ . Maybe you can contact him & ask for something larger.

I would absolutely buy something larger.

The largest option in his shop is actually 5m x 75cm, divided into 5 panels. But that also comes at a price of 7.5k EUR, or 12.5k EUR for a glicee print.

It could be the creator of the image is with holding that image from just tossing to the hordes in the hopes of doing something with it to possibly be rewarded for their effort.

A related thread:

Milky Way, 12 years, 1250 hours of exposures and 125 x 22 degrees of sky - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26490579 - March 2021 (139 comments)

Wow!!! I’d like to read more details about the PC and software he used. Besides the Photoshop that is mentioned, no other details about the system (cpu, ram, disk…).

A professional large photo plot of this would probably look seriously impressive.

Even at 200 dpi this would be 15 meters wide and 2.25 meters tall.

Imagine that in a museum, just a massive wall with 100 billion stars. It would be ridiculously cool.

Realistically, that seems pretty achievable goal for a Kickstarter? Rent some smallish exhibit space (500-1000sqft old warehouse or something?) in the valley/bay area outskirts for a few months, find a large format printer service, print out in strips, and figure out physical installation. How much can that really cost? $10-20k total? Somehow I feel its not far fetched that there would be a thousand geeks willing to chip in $10-$20 bucks for this sort of thing

Might be even less.

Japan is huge on making very large graphics from printing on sheets of white adhesive: https://youtu.be/ioyMec7YU0Y

If they added it to the ground it cheaper to install and then kids could run on it in the gym (could easily cover an entire Gym, lol): https://youtu.be/mBjSM783Tug

Would be fun with the retroreflectors added like in the latter video, as with the lights off and only head lamps on you could see stars below your feet.

That's pretty neat. But I wonder what the surface looks like after removal?

Of the sticker? Very clean, because the adhesive is built to stick together like a command strip.

No, was thinking how does the wall look after removal? Does the adhesive take paint or other parts of the surface off?

I have worked with this type of material.

It depends a lot on the strength of the underlying layers.

If it is just cement, it takes bits of dust/debris with. If it is stained wood, it can peel some of the stain off if it is left on for a while. If it is painted drywall, it can peel off any little bits of poorly primed paint unless a heat gun is used to gently remove it by softening the adhesive (even this can be tricky though…). On glass it’s perfect :)

For a robust epoxied wooden gym floor, it would be a clean removal.

This is stunning work. Bravo! I feel so small and insignificant right now. And that's not a bad thing.

That's one of my favorite aspects of astronomy. To the universe, we're (Earth) just a spec on a dot. The stepping away from all of the things that seem so stressingly important and realize that it's only us that feels that stress and the universe really absolutely doesn't give a shit. It always helps me to give less of a shit too.

So true. If I happen to be do something new, high risk or making me stress out thinking about it in context of the larger universe (and staring at these pictures help) quickly puts me at ease. Very effective. I have passed this to others over the years.

I always look at the "Pale Blue Dot" image shot by Voyager if I ever have a need to feel insignificant. Never fails me!

Complete with Carl Sagan's magestic description:


You ought to see it in person, in any dark sky place - that would clear your perspectives

Apparently 100 billion stars in there. That is nuts.

Yup. Even at 1 in every 1 million systems, that could be 100,000 systems with life.

Or, even at 1 in every 10 million, that could be 10,000 systems with life.

In a way I hate these photos. It's like showing a kid an ultra delicious looking candy, but telling them that they will not be able to taste it in their lifetime.

But for all we know the odds could be 1 in every 100 billion; we have no way of knowing, almost any guess you'd make is equally unfounded.

It's like the one tank variant of the German tank problem[0], except the tanks aren't even numbered.


The scary (sad) thing to me is that it could be 1 of 1.

What are the odds we are the only one?

Nobody can tell you without pulling numbers out of thin air. That's the point. The only thing that can be said is that the probability of intelligent life arising is greater than 0, which follows from our own existence. Beyond that, any claims about the likelihood of intelligent life are just 20th and 21st century versions of "there must be a God because the universe couldn't have arisen by chance."

Strictly speaking our own existence doesn't even tell us the probability is greater than zero. For an event to have probability zero doesn't imply it can't occur. If a number is chosen from a uniform distribution on the reals between zero and one, whatever the result is the probability of that exact result occurring was zero.

  > For an event to have probability zero doesn't imply it can't occur.
The distinction in meaningless. We exist, ergo intelligent life can develop in this universe.

> The distinction in meaningless. We exist, ergo intelligent life can develop in this universe.

I didn't say anything contrary to this. I was just pointing out an interesting detail about probability theory.

It's impolite to edit your comment in such a way as to turn its existing replies into non-sequiturs. For the record, this comment initially cast doubt on the claim about zero probability events, hence the reply saying it was correct.

It is correct, if you split 100% across infinitely many possible outcomes, each outcome will have probability zero, still one of the possible outcomes will occur.

Doesn't this require a continuum? I don't think you get there with a measure on a countable set. That would make this an unphysical argument, IMO.

Yes, it requires uncountability. It could be that physics is ultimately best modelled with countable sets, but that hasn't been established and our current best physical theories are certainly full of uncountability.

The distinction between "surely" and "almost surely" [1] is "just" a curiosity about probability theory though, albeit a rather fundamental one, and I only brought it up as such. It's interesting to think about, and if you do so it quickly brings you up against deep philosophical questions about what probability means.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almost_surely

Just out of curiosity, is there are short answer why it requires uncountability? Naively something like pick a random natural number would also seem to lead to probability zero. I can see that pick a random natural number might be problematic, how would you do this? Pick on digit and then with some probability either stop or continue and pick another digit, but it is at the very least not obvious that one could make this work without larger numbers just having smaller and smaller probabilities and there might also be issues with termination. On the other hand it is not obvious to me why one could not work with uniform distributions over the set [0, n) and then look at the limit as n goes to infinity.

If you have a measure on a countable set, lets number it 0, 1, 2, .. then you must have: m(i) >= 0 (since it's a measure).

And must also have

1 = m(0) + m(1) + ... (because it's a measure)


1 = Lim S(i)

Where S(i) is the partial sum going from 0 to i.

But if each m(i) = 0, then each partial sum is zero.

So 1 = Lim 0 = 0

There is probably something wrong with this, but I was thinking something like the following.

Take the sequence of sets M(n) = { 0, 1, 2, ... n - 1 } with measure m(n, i) = 1 / n. The m(n, i) are non-negative and the sum over all m(n, i) for a fixed n is 1. Then take the limit. The set M(n) will seemingly approach the natural numbers but I am not sure that this is valid. The m(n, i) will approach 0, I think that is uncontroversial. But I guess it might not be valid to argue that the sum remains 1 even though it seemingly equals n * 1 / n.

No, you can't interchange limits like that.

In your case, when you say "sum" of the n identical things, you just mean multiplying n by the integer 1/n.

So you have 1 = 1/n *n != lim(1/n)lim(n). The last is an indeterminate form of 0*infinity and so you don't get to conclude that it's one.

I would actually want to use only one limit, not two independent limits. And if I throw this [1] at Wolfram Alpha it actually says 1. I have a set of n elements with measure 1/n and then grow the set towards infinity while simultaneously shrinking the measure.

I agree that this does not work if growing the set and shrinking the measures are two independent limiting processes very similar to how integrating x dx from minus to plus infinity yields infinity if you have independent integration limits [2] but yields 0 if the integration limits are not independent [3].

I am still happy to accept that it requires uncountable sets but I am not convinced by the argument you provided, that the limit does not work out. I think there must be a different issue, some other property of probability measures that fails.

EDIT: I also finally did a little bit of searching and while I did not read much yet, it seems that the problems indeed arise from additivity as you hinted at with the partial sums. But I also found that there are actually ways to have uniform distributions on the natural number [4] if one uses non-standard axioms, but I only skimmed the paper for the moment.

[1] https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=lim_%28n-%3E%E2%88%9E%...

[2] https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=lim_%28a-%3E-%E2%88%9E...

[3] https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=lim_%28a-%3E%E2%88%9E%...

[3] http://cetus.stat.cmu.edu/tr/tr814/tr814.pdf

> It could be that physics is ultimately best modelled with countable sets

That's not my argument. The issue isn't whether physics requires a continuum to model reality -- I'm certain it does. But just because a continuum is required to model the universe doesn't mean that the observables in the universe actually form a continuum. For that, I am certain that they don't.

It seems to me, the question is, how do we assign probabilities to the existence of life. One way I can imagine is the following. We think of the universe as a classical system, then there is a phase space for the entire universe. Now we can look at each trajectory through phase space and classify it as either having or not having life at at least one point. Then we can obtain the measure of the set of trajectories classified as having life. With this view it seems at least possible that life could have measure zero even though it does not seem likely to me and there might even be [non-]obvious reasons why the set could not have measure zero. I am not sure how the argument would change if one would try something similar but with a quantum mechanical instead of a classical description of the universe.

EDIT: Additional thought and I might be totally wrong because of a lack of mathematical understanding. Pick a point on a trajectory classified as containing life and perturb it in a way such that it only affects parts of the universe far away from life. Then all trajectories through the perturbed points would also still be classified as containing life. But I think the resulting set of trajectories would still have measure zero because we allowed only perturbation far away from life.

So to grow a single trajectory classified as containing life into a set of trajectories classified as containing life of non-zero measure would require being able to pick a point on the trajectory and perturb it in all dimensions and still have all perturbed trajectories classified as containing life. Seems possible but not obviously so to me.

Infinity times zero might be meaningless in a quantized reality

The universe became conscious in the form of man and asked ‘who made me’ so it’s the universe arguing with the universe about a creator :)

the candy might also be filled with razors and end all life on our planet though

Oh crap, now not only do I have to live in disappointment that I won't get to eat the candy, I also have to live in fear that the candy monster might come by and eat me.

Sad and Scared... my life is over...

well, guess we should spend our whole lives praying just in case

oh man, has the news been running halloween stories in your area again?

Damn, I wish my engineering journal had drawings like that in it.

Question: What would it look like to be living on an electron, whizzing around a proton, inside a molecule, inside a living being?

Depends on what _you_ are made of. If you're small enough to live on what is a point particle in our universe, then your concept of "looks like" will be different than ours. For one thing, your interaction with photons will be different than ours.

Intense pareidolia a quarter of the way across, of a sci-fi warrior/genie dude holding up a weapon.

Question: why are pictures taken from the space station showing really dark space ? The pictures of the mosaic have many stars and I guess the milkyway can be observed from earth too. So why all that black on the photos taken from space ? An issue with contrast ?

IANAAstrophotographer, but I'd say it's indeed a contrast issue (dynamic range of cameras). Most ISS photos are taken on the day side and have Earth in view; the brightness of reflected light is so great it prevents cameras from recording stars. A quick googling for photos taken from ISS at night reveals that they do feature stars in them.

"Exposure time over 1500 hours between 2009 - 2021"

I would love to see this edited into some viewscreen images on the NCC-1701[-D] bridge.

Damn! So much out there that we might never be able to see.

Where is the Earth in this?

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