Mueller Planetarium at the University of Nebraska State Museum will take visitors on a journey to the center of our galaxy when it unveils two new mural-size images of the Milky Way's core on Sunday.
The images were captured by NASA's "Great Observatories:" the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The photographs commemorate the 2009 International Year of Astronomy and will be unveiled to the public at 4 p.m. Sunday in the lobby of the planetarium in Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets.
Jack Gabel, assistant professor of physics at Creighton University, will give a talk on black holes following the presentation.
The images will be permanently on display in the lobby of the planetarium. Public admission to the museum and planetarium will be free after 3:45 p.m. Sunday for this event.
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 celebrates the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning a telescope to the heavens. Since Galileo's spyglass, telescopes have grown ever larger and ever better, and have moved to mountaintops and into space.
NASA's observatories represent the crowning achievements of astronomy four centuries later. Museums and planetariums across the U.S. are honoring this legacy with a national image unveiling, the museum said in a news release.
A 6-by-3-foot image presents a unique view that showcases the galaxy in near-infrared light observed by Hubble, infrared light observed by Spitzer, and X-ray light observed by Chandra. The combined image was assembled from mosaic photo surveys of the core by each telescope. It provides the most wide-ranging view ever of the galaxy's hub.
Mueller Planetarium will also unveil a matched trio of Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra images of the Milky Way's center on a second large panel measuring 3 feet by 4 feet.