Space Swoon: Behold the Milky Way Galaxy’s center featuring 84 million stars. We are cosmic ants, but it’s okay!

milky way galaxy 84 million stars

I say goddamn. Bask in this image of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, featuring 84 million stars.

Boing Boing:

My God, it’s full of stars!

To create this unprecedented view of the Milky Way, ESO combined thousands of individual images from VISTA, taken through three different infrared filters, into a single monumental mosaic. These data form part of the VVV public survey and have been used to study a much larger number of individual stars in the central parts of the Milky Way than ever before. Because VISTA has a camera sensitive to infrared light it can see through much of the dust blocking the view for optical telescopes. The results are truly mesmerizing!

More info here. See a zoomable version of the image here.