Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 month ago

Is a general view of the Milky Way only a drawing by an astronomer? It'll possibly prove to be wrong if new discoveries are made later?

I had been believing that it was a photo taken through a telescope, at least a photomontage. 

So the Milky Way acutally doesn't look so colorful as in the picutre.https://www.space.com/14724-milkyway-galaxy-shape....

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  • cosmo
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any picture of the Milky Way from outside is the result of calculation rather than an actual photograph.  We are inside it, but we do know where the stars and gas are in three dimensions, so we can calculate what it would look like from outside (with some uncertainties --- those uncertainties are getting smaller every day, thanks to the Gaia probe). 

    The Galaxy is colored like that, although the brightness is so small that the human eye would not be able to see the colors because they'd be too dim (like night vision).

    The ensemble of stars is beige-white, the massive stars and H II regions are blue and magenta, and the interstellar clouds are dark.

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  • Tom S
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    In the 19th century, perhaps, but we have IR, UV, radio, and visible wavelength telescopic technology now. Then there is computer modelling.  But it all started with hand sketches by very observant and methodical individuals.

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  • 1 month ago

    Of course

    Any Object that we can not possibly see is often  portrayed as an Artist's Impression

    Then Again it has turned out that the true picture can be much more astounding

    Attachment image
    Source(s): Who expected that before Cassini ?
  • Robert
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    "Astronomers" take creative liberties when publishing their "images".

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Obviously nobody can take a photo of it. We're INSIDE it.

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  • 1 month ago

    Probably that image is a drawing by an artist rather than by an astronomer.

    https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/HNvga2CFNvAEnDCf...

    Of course the polar coordinate axes are not part of it

    and as others have noted

    probably lots of color and brightness have been added.

    Reasonably expect something much closer to black-and-white with perhaps a very slight yellowish (rather than obvious bluish) tinge.

    Notice how many different colorations of the Andromeda Galaxy we find online.

    https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNREZtFtFR...

    It's hard

    nowadays

    to find an untouched, visible-light-only photo of celestial objects.

    Even classic telescopic photography had to use a "brightening" technique, long exposure, to produce a useful photographic image of most objects.

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  • 1 month ago

    I doubt if any astronomer actually does drawings nowadays. Those with artistic ambitions no doubt use a product like Photoshop.

    I wonder if there is an "Insert galaxy here" icon in Photoshop.

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  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Nearly all these type of photos have enhanced colour even when they are real. Obviously nothing has been that far outside our galaxy to take a photo but we can see other spiral galaxies from here and to some degree infer what the Milky Way might look like. My guess is the picture is either a photo of another galaxy or one that has been manipulated.

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  • JonZ
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Since we are inside the Milky Way the only way to get a photograph would be to fly above it or beyond it's boundaries and snap a picture.  However, we don't possess the technology to do that, so any image you see of the Milky Way is either an artists representation or a photo of a galaxy scientists believe is similar to our galaxy. We do know galaxies can be very colorful from images from ter lescopes like Hubble and from analysis of their composition.

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  • Bill
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It would take thousands of years to get a spacecraft into a position to take a photo of the entire Milky Way.

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