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The Infrared Universe

This panoramic view encompasses the entire sky and reveals the distribution of galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, which astronomers call extended sources, as observed by Two Micron All-Sky Survey. The image is assembled from a database of over 1.6 million galaxies listed in the survey’s All-Sky Survey Extended Source Catalog,; more than half of the galaxies have never before been catalogued. The colors represent how the many galaxies appear at three distinct wavelengths of infrared light (blue at 1.2 microns, green at 1.6 microns, and red at 2.2 microns). Quite evident are the many galactic clusters and superclusters, as well as some streamers composing the large-scale structure of the nearby universe. The blue overlay represents the very close and bright stars from our own Milky Way galaxy. In this projection, the bluish Milky Way lies predominantly toward the upper middle and edges of the image.