Close look at the ATLASGAL image of the plane of the Milky Way

This video takes a close look at a new image of the Milky Way released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys.

The APEX data, at a wavelength of 0.87 millimetres, shows up in red and the background blue image was imaged at shorter infrared wavelengths by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the GLIMPSE survey. The fainter extended red structures come from complementary observations made by ESA's Planck satellite.


ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck. Music: Johan B. Monell (

About the Video

Release date:24 February 2016, 12:00
Related releases:eso1606
Duration:08 m 10 s

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