COOL IMAGES: Virtual Universe

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Science  30 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5415, pp. 707
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5415.707d


Behold the entire sky as revealed by radio telescopes. The red swirls along the Milky Way (the horseshoe shape) aren't stars but clouds of radio-emitting hydrogen gas. This false-color image, based on an all-sky survey at 408 megahertz in the 1970s, was created by the SkyView Virtual Telescope ( Simply choose the coordinates, and the site will dig into a store of data and spit out an image for that part of the sky in wavelengths ranging from optical to radio to gamma rays. Such views of the sky will only get richer: A host of astronomical surveys around the world are now busy making new maps of the universe's millions of galaxies, stars, and quasars in every wavelength ( Science, 7 November 1997, p. 1010 ). For a long list, go to