[Article 3098]The Big Picture

An Introduction to Large-Scale Structure

Markarians Chain, part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, as seen in The Big Picture. Courtesy of the Palomar-Quest Team, California Institute of Technology. (Click to embiggen.)
Markarian's Chain, part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, as seen in The Big Picture. Courtesy of the Palomar-Quest Team, California Institute of Technology. (Click to embiggen.)

One of the coolest exhibits I’ve ever seen is taking up a wall at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. It’s called The Big Picture, and is a deep view of a very small region in the constellation Virgo. It was taken using the Samuel Oschin Telescope on Palomar Mountain in California.

What makes this picture amazing is that it is a single continuous digital sky image, portrayed in porcelain tiles. It has at least a million galaxies and thousands of quasars depicted in it, plus asteroids, and a comet.  The galaxies are part of the Virgo Cluster, the nearest big cluster to our own Local Group of Galaxies. Beyond them are the other galaxies, all part of the large-scale structure of the universe.

The Big Picture is the focus of today’s 365 Days of Astronomy podcast — which Mark and I produced. So, go over and check it out. I’ve also got a related page about it and the large-scale structure of the cosmos, here.

You can also see a video I’ve produced about The Big Picture as part of Astrocast.TV starting on May 1. I’ve joined the crew of Astrocast.tv to produce a monthly segment called The Astronomer’s Universe. Either way, be sure and check out this amazing image–it’ll take your breath away.

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Responses to [Article 3098]The Big Picture

  1. Pingback:Daily News About California : A few links about California - Wednesday, 29 April 2009 02:33

  2. I like all deep sky views. I look forward to “The Astronomer’s Universe!”

  3. Being at Palomar I am biased, but good job with the podcast on The Big Picture.