One day, Nick Risinger, a 28-year-old marketing director in Seattle, felt like he needed a change. So he quit his job, packed up six professional astronomical cameras, and hiked 96,000km through western United States and South Africa, taking 37,000 colour pictures of the night sky.
The result? This 5000MP interactive, zoomable map showing our full Milky Way galaxy, stars, planets and the nebulae surrounding it. It’s the largest ever, 360-degree panorama of the heavens – all created by this first-time astrographer. What’s even more remarkable is that it’s considered better than previous professional sky surveys – like the Digitised Sky Survey of the 1980s – which were shot only in red and blue.
According to the Risinger, his aim was to create an image that had more real feeling: “I wanted to create something that was a true representation of how we could see it, if it were 3000 times brighter,” he said. And lucky for us, he’s made it freely available to the public. You can see the incredible Phototopic Sky Survey over at Sky Survey. [via Wired]