World's Largest Astronomical Image

World's Largest Astronomical Image

After many years of serious stargazing, Melbourne, Australia based photographer Colin Robson has set his sights high on photographing the world’s largest image of The Milky Way. This project has been in the pipeline for the past six months and after completing a successful test photo, Robson is looking forward to getting things rolling as early as next month. Whilst images of The Milky Way have been captured before, this project aims to create the most detailed, and so far the largest, 65 gigapixels, combined from 100 panel mosaic which will view right into the heart of Milky Way.Before the launch of project planning could begin, Robson needed to conduct a test shot to see if this was, in fact, a viable idea…and it was. Shot on an old Nikon D700 and using a 677mm F/5.21 telescope lens, the 1 gigapixel test photo was made possible with the help of an equatorial mount and the time-consuming process of stitching 80 panels flawlessly together. Each single 60 exposure panel was carefully calibrated to remove camera noise and vignetting caused by the telescope. The entire image was skillfully captured within an hour and a half window whilst the processing and stitching of the image took many hours more. 

Robson’s goal is to make history with his giant, 1 TB visual panoramic masterpiece. It will be 20% higher than the test shot and 2.5 times wider than the test shot. The 1000 panel image will be photographed with the equivalent of a 600mm F/3 lens and will be corrected for every aberration possible. With the help of an Indiegogo funding campaign, Robson is hoping to entice other photography enthusiasts to support his project. As a result of backing his venture, each supporter will be able to access a zoomable, uploaded image for their viewing pleasure. They will be able to access the full resolution photo and will be able to view, scan and enjoy it.

Ultimately, this innovative stargazer would like to see the project growing in size and potentially evolving into a complete map of the skies, in full resolution and full color. In the meantime, however, his focus will be on creating the largest and most detailed picture of The Milky Way, ever seen in the world. You can back Colin Robson and his innovative project here.

Burak Erzincanli's picture

Burak is a photographer and creative retoucher specialising in fashion and advertising, working with international clients from Canada, Europe and Australia.

Currently lives and works in Manchester, UK.

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1 Comment

A 1TB picture? The file size is certainly astronomical!