The southern plane of the Milky Way from the ATLASGAL survey

A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been 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 at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves. The new finely detailed images complement those from recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.

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.

In this case the image has been cut into three pieces for convenience.


ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck

About the Image

Release date:24 February 2016, 12:00
Related releases:eso1606
Size:24400 x 7072 px

About the Object

Type:Milky Way

Image Formats

Screensize JPEG
112.4 KB

Colours & filters

Infrared8.0 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
Infrared3.6 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC (Spitzer)
Infrared4.5 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC (Spitzer)
353 GHz
850 μmPlanck
344 GHz
870 μmAtacama Pathfinder Experiment