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It took over a decade and 1,000 hours of photography to create this picture of the Milky Way

A portion of the 1.7 gigapixel image of the Milky Way put together to create a panorama by Finnish photographer JP MetsavainioJP Metsavainio
  • It took Finnish photographer JP Metsavainio 12 years and 1,200 hours of exposure to create this panorama of the Milky Way.
  • Not only did he capture the entire galaxy, but also 20 million stars that reside within that vast expanse.
  • Here’s a quick look at some of the more detailed features of this vast mosaic.
Finnish astrophotographer, JP Metsavainio, took on the daunting task of creating a mosaic of the Milky Way back in 2009. It took him twelve years to get the whole picture which is around 100,000 pixels wide and has 234 individual mosaic panels stitched together.

Not only did he manage to capture the entire galaxy but also 20 million stars within the Milky Way. You can check out the entire picture in its full resolution here.

"The reason for a long time period is naturally the size of the mosaic and the fact that the image is very deep. Another reason is that I have shot most of the mosaic frames as individual compositions and published them as independent artworks.," Metsavainio wrote on his blog.

While Metsavainio is an astrophotographer by profession, this project was a pet project. All of the mosaic work was done on Photoshop. “I think this is the first image ever showing the Milky Way in this resolution and depth at all three color channels,” he told PetaPixel.

Here's an in-depth look at the image of the Milky Way that took over 1,000 hours and 12 years to collate: