How are the pictures of the Milky Way taken?

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imsam

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There are so many pictures of the Milky Way -- taken from different points of view. The one that interests me the most is the one that shows the entire galaxy from a birds eye view.

The question I have is that how was that picture produced? Considering the size of the galaxy, I think it's unlikely that a spacecraft went that far to be able to take that picture.

Thanks,

Sam
 
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MeteorWayne

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Any such pictures are artist's conceptions. From our position along the plane of the MW, there is no way to create an image from above.
 
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imsam

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I thought it was an image produced by radio telescopes with exact positions of everything in the MW.
 
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MeteorWayne

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No, not at all. It's a conception, not fact.

Welcome to Space.com, BTW!!
 
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yevaud

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imsam":17sdiing said:
I thought it was an image produced by radio telescopes with exact positions of everything in the MW.
There are multiple methods of viewing the universe around us: optically, via Microwaves, x-rays, neutrinos, thermal, IR, UV, etc. Frequently, when you see images of something far away in space, it's a composite of data from multiple detection methods, and with false-colors chosen to best highlight various aspects of the source.
 
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imsam

Guest
Thank you for the warm welcome and your responses.

I'm quite amazed because I thought those images were composites as yevaud explained in his post. We're still in the very early stages of civilization, aren't we? :)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Civilization? Not sure what that has to do with the Milky Way :)
 
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matthewota

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Astrophotographers take photographs of the Milky Way by using long exposures on cameras that are on clock-driven mounts that compensate for the rotation of the Earth (or the apparent motion of the sky).

Artist's conceptions of the Milky Way as seen from above are based on data collected by radio telescopes. Radio telescopes have detected the spiral nature of the arms of our galaxy. Recent studies in the infrared wavelengths has also indicated that there is a bar in the central area of our galaxy, making it a barred spiral galaxy.

A bird's eye view of our Milky Way would be almost identical to what we see, as the bird would also have to look up at the river of stars overhead.
 
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