The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is one of NASA's most impressive machines currently in orbit. Its ultra-sensitive lenses can detect the slightest brightness changes of distant stars, indicating the presence of distant worlds. Each image that TESS sends back to Earth contains a wealth of information, and when you stitch over 200 of them, you get a truly magnificent view of our home galaxy, a panorama of the southern sky. It is the result of 208 TESS images that have been carefully put together, and the boy makes us feel tiny.
As you can see in the picture above, there is a lot to see here. The luminous arc in the mosaic is our home galaxy, the Milky Way, teeming with stars and planets. Every tiny point of light tells its own story. By comparing TESS images taken at different times, scientists can identify stars that are likely to be orbited by planets. More than 1
The image above is a highly compressed thumbnail of the original. If you really want to feel the full power of TESS, you can download the full version, which measures 16,339 x 16,339 pixels and weighs an incredible 205.1 MB.
"The analysis of TESS data focuses on individual stars and planets in succession, but I wanted to step back and emphasize all at once, highlighting the spectacular view that TESS offers us across the sky," said Ethan Kruse, who the mosaic has put together.
Good It is definitely spectacular and there is a lot to digest. We still do not know exactly how many stars are actually in the Milky Way. Estimates range from about 100 billion to over 300 billion. We can pamper our eyes here with a fair bit of it, and it's hard to imagine what's out there, just out of our reach.