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ISSUE 17 - June 2015





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Ten Challenges of Producing anAstronomical Gigapixel Image (page 29)
Mathias Jäger, Lars Lindberg Christensen

Keywords
Image processing, astronomical images, VISTA, VVV survey

Summary

Public outreach involves developing new methods, testing new technologies and integrating new ideas. Sometimes, the craft of outreach even leads into completely unknown territory. This is the story of a project that led into astronomical and technological terra incognita. It is about the production of a mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way made with ESO’s VISTA telescope as part of the VVV survey. The outreach system at ESO was tested to its limits, and beyond, by the production of what is still likely to be the largest astronomical image in the world. Several significant challenges had to be overcome, extensive hardware and software upgrades were undertaken and compromises had to be made to produce this stunning image for the public.