? asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 decade ago

# How do you take a picture of the Milky Way?

How are pictures like this captured?:

http://schoolnet.gov.mt/earth_universe/images/milk...

I know we live in the Milky Way so how is this possible without sending out a device outside of the Milky Way? - which I know is impossible. This is like taking a picture of the whole of the house while being inside the house.

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• Anonymous

That's not a good example because it's not the Milky Way. However, there are plenty of Milky Way pictures which illustrate your question better. http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&rls=com.micr...

Some of these pictures are artist's conceptions, others are generated by a computer. We use several methods to estimate the distance and direction to known stars. This data is stored in a 3D database. The computer can be programed to display what all those stars would look like from any location you choose, including locations outside the galaxy.

Our view of the far side is obscured by dust near the middle. We get a better view using infrared telescopes, and we assume that the far side is a lot like the near side.

• 5 years ago

It may be that you're right! We haven't got a telescope outside the Milky Way yet, but if we can see the stars around us in the Milky Way to the edge, and know how far away they are, then I think we can make a picture of it, I don't think it's an actual picture like you take with a camera, it's made up! But made up accurately? If you were to zoom out to that distance to take a picture of the entire Milky Way, then I guess the only things you'd be able to see well are the massive stars! So it may be fairly accurate, or maybe it's just an approximation of what it looks like :) Also you could make an estimate of what a galaxy looks like by using the idea that there is a black hole at the middle of every galaxy! Which is quite amazing xD I'm not sure on all this, just guesses ^^ Although then again perhaps it is from the information on other galaxies that we can perhaps see more clearly that has helped us to work out the structure of our own galaxy? Perhaps... I'd put my money on my first guess though xD we know how far away the stars in our galaxy are from us, and so we've just put the pieces together to make up the picture ^^ Then again there is another alternative answer, that we have in fact got a telescope outside the milky way! Not sure if that's true though, the milky way is massive...

That's not the Milky Way. Case closed.

We can map the Milky Way from inside, by looking at the distances of stars, and the distribution of interstellar dust and gas. We can create a representation of what the Milky Way would look like, or we can take a picture of a similar galaxy and say it's what the Milky Way would look like from outside.

The picture in question isn't even a good example, because it's a well-known galaxy, it's not the right type (it's not a barred spiral), and it has two prominent satellite galaxies that aren't consistent with any of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies.

Its Andromeda Galaxy. The Image you are talking about is only a Computer Creation

• Lola F
Lv 7

That isn't the Milky Way. That's Andromeda.

It's computer imaging. Astronomers have taken enough readings and observations of stars in the galaxy that they have a really good idea what it looks like. It's a little like, if you were in the middle of a forest in a flat area and had access to radar equipment, you could work out roughly the shape of the forest, and create a crude map of it.

• Anonymous

you go to www.google.com and click on images and type the Milky Way.

Source(s): My brain

No one has... yet. Scientists look at other galaxies and use them while making a picture of the mily way.

• Anonymous

I think it's a painting or computer graphics. Cause there is no history of any satellites going that far and they most likely wouldn't be able to send it all the way back to earth.

Source(s): mah brain
• Anonymous