This striking view of the central parts of the Milky Way has been obtained using the VISTA survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It’s part of a huge picture (108,200 x 81,500 pixels) which contains nearly nearly nine billion pixels. You can access the zoomable version by clicking the image below.
To create this unprecedented view of the Milky Way, ESO combined thousands of individual images from VISTA, taken through three different infrared filters, into a single monumental mosaic. These data form part of the VVV public survey and have been used to study a much larger number of individual stars in the central parts of the Milky Way than ever before. Because VISTA has a camera sensitive to infrared light it can see through much of the dust blocking the view for optical telescopes. The results are truly mesmerizing!
(Click image for zoomable version)