Milky Way Forms Bridge Across Chilean Desert.

Enlarge. | Via.

Behold the majesty of the Milky Way galaxy. This panorama is taken in the Chilean desert, and we can see our galaxy as we are nestled comfortably inside the disc of our galaxy.

Bad Astronomy:

On the left you can see the two companion dwarf galaxies to our own: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. They apparently hang side-by-side in the sky, but are separated by over 40,000 light years… and are removed from us by distances of 160,000 and 200,000 light years, respectively.

And on the right is our eye on the sky, Unit Telescope 1 of the VLT – and that’s only one of  four of the giant 8 meter telescopes in operation. I like the imagery here: the telescope at one end, distant galaxies on the other, and bridging them like a cosmic rainbow is our home galaxy itself.

Sexy time.