Interactive map reveals hidden details of the Milky Way | Science News

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Interactive map reveals hidden details of the Milky Way

Gleamoscope allows for exploration in several different frequencies of light

By
3:35pm, November 14, 2016

SEE THE LIGHT  In this Gleamoscope image from a radio observatory, the Milky Way appears as a band of light in this view toward the center of the galaxy. Dots in the background are other galaxies; colors indicate different radio frequencies.

There’s much more to the universe than meets the eye, and a new web-based app lets you explore just how much our eyes are missing. Gleamoscope presents the night sky across a range of electromagnetic frequencies. Spots of gamma rays pinpoint distant feeding black holes. Tendrils of dust glow with infrared light throughout the Milky Way. A supernova remnant — the site of a star that exploded roughly 11,000 years ago — blasts out X-rays and radio waves.

Many of these phenomena are nearly imperceptible in visible light. So astronomers use equipment, such as specialized cameras and antennas, that can detect other frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. Computers turn the data into images, often assigning colors to certain frequencies to highlight specific details or physical processes.

In Gleamoscope, a slider smoothly transitions the scene from one

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