Stunning Images of Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulae in Two Billion Pixels worth of detail

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) pointed its Very Large Telescope Survey Telescope (with its 256-megapixel OmegaCAM camera made up of 32 individual CCDs arranged in a mosaic) toward NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 (aka, Cat’s Paw Nebula and the Lobster Nebula, respectively,) and took a gigantic image, about two billions pixels (1,937,662,496 pixels) worth of detail. At 49511 x 39136 pixels, this is one of the largest images ever released by ESO.

The glowing, cosmic clouds of gas and dust in the Cat’s Paw Nebula are believed to be active stellar nurseries, nurturing thousands of young, hot stars.

How do you view such a large image?

  • By zooming in to the parts you are interested in, a very detailed view of the star formation regions can be obtained.

It’s viewing images like these that we’re reminded that, in the large scheme of things, we’re just a tiny part of this universe, a grain of sand on the beach. One beach in a thousand, million, billions.

via ESO