NASA releases revolutionary time-lapse of entire night sky filmed over 12 years

NASA has unveiled a picture collage charting a time-lapse of an entire night sky filmed over the span of over a decade.

After 12 years of recording footage of the sky on a day by day basis, NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide Field Infared Survey Explorer spacecraft has had its images stitched together.

NEOWISE completes halfway trips around the Sun and snaps every moment of it, with the result being an "all-sky" map that showcases the brightness and location of hundreds of millions of objects.

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A total of 18 all-sky maps have been created by the craft, with a time-lapse-like movie released by the Space Administration.

Hoping to chart a change of star positions and brightness over time, the time-domain astronomy piece is being used to provide details of how much the sky changes over the course of a year.

Amy Mainzer, principal investigator for NEOWISE said: "If you go outside and look at the night sky, it might seem like nothing ever changes, but that’s not the case.

"Stars are flaring and exploding. Asteroids are whizzing by. Black holes are tearing stars apart. The universe is a really busy, active place."

NEOWISE appears to have captured all of that in a snapshot, with two more maps planned for 2023.

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A statement from NASA on the official upload of the NEOWISE project, titled "Revealing Changes in the Universe", read: "The NEOWISE mission uses a space telescope to hunt for asteroids and comets, including those that could pose a threat to Earth.

"New time-lapse movies from NASA’s NEOWISE mission give astronomers the opportunity to see objects, like stars and black holes, as they move and change over time."

Initially used as a camera to detect threats to Earth, it has since been repurposed into a camera that takes a snapshot of the world to chart changes to stars and black holes.

Their recent time-lapse combines "more than 10 years of NEOWISE observations and 18 all-sky images".

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