219 million stars: a detailed catalogue of the visible Milky Way with the Isaac Newton Telescope

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Astronomers Release Most Detailed Catalogue Ever Made of the Visible Milky Way. The production of the catalogue, IPHAS DR2 (the second release from the survey programme The INT Photometric H-alpha Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane or IPHAS), is an example of modern astronomy's exploitation of 'big data' – it contains information on the 219 million detected objects, each of which is summarised in 99 attributes. With this catalogue release, the team are offering the world community free access to measurements taken through two broad band filters capturing light at the red end of the visible spectrum, and in a narrowband capturing the brightest hydrogen emission line, H-alpha. The inclusion of H-alpha also enables exquisite imaging of the nebulae (glowing clouds of gas) found in greatest number within the disk of the Milky Way. The stellar density map illustrated here is derived from the longest (reddest) wavelength band in which the darkening effect of the dust is moderated in a way that brings out more of its structural detail, compared to maps built at shorter (bluer) wavelengths. http://www.ing.iac.es/PR/press/iphasMW.html

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