Microsoft creates a terapixel map of the night sky

Recently, Microsoft Research took us all on a high resolution voyage to Mars. Now, they are expanding on that experience. At their Research Faculty Summit on July 13, Microsoft announced their Terapixel Project. This project involved stitching together 1,791 plates from various telescopes that were located in California and Australia. You will be able to access the Terapixel project via WorldWide Telescope and Bing maps.

Actual Image Size: 802 GB

Terrapixel image

Image Credit: Gizmodo

With Terapixel, you can zoom in on various portions of the night sky to see the great wonders that our universe has to offer. The project was an enormous undertaking that involved re-calculating all of the data that was collected by the Digital Sky Survey within the last 50 years. In order to accomplish this task, developers ran their parallel code across 512 processing cores on the Windows Computing cluster that they used. The result of this code and parallel processing was the ability to process all of the image data over the course of half a day, according to Microsoft Research.

According to Gizmodo, “Once the files were decompressed, they had to undergo some changes to correct the vignetting problem. Red and blue plates had to be precisely aligned to make a color image, and then everything had to be stitched together, which took about three more hours.” In order to view the full resolution image, it would require a half-million HDTVs. In printed form, the image would span over the entire length of a football field. To finalize the image, Terapixel optimized the image in order to create a seamless, vast view of the night sky. Now, it's possible to tour the universe from the comfort of your home. 

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By the Numbers
Raw data

* 1791 pairs of red-light and blue-light images acquired from two telescopes, scanned into 23,040x23,040 or 14000x14000 images.

Windows HPC Cluster:

* The high-performance computational platform used to run Terapixel, consisting of 64 compute nodes, each a quad-core Intel Xeon CPU with 16 GB RAM and 1.7 TB of storage.

Generation of RGB plates

* Processing time: 5 hrs. Input: 417 GB (compressed, 4TB uncompressed)
* Output: 790 GB (approx. 500MB/plate)

Stitch images into a spherical image

* Processing time: 3 hours

Optimize image to remove seams

* Processing time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Move data off the cluster

* 2.5 hrs (1Gbps link)

Output

* 1025 pyramid files; total size: 802 GB

Based on what Bing already does with respect to ground imagery, I see nothing spectacular about this. You're doing the same thing, but with lower resolution imagery. If you have 1m imagery over the entire earth, it would take ~1.3PB uncompressed (3 channels, 8 bits per channel), so this is nothing.

Also, the computing platform seems kinda weak. Only 4-core nodes with 16GiB ram?

SCRISP said,
A cool feature they could add to their consoles...

what? I dont get the funny

In any case, I bet right when you get to 99% if your using IE 8 for downloading your computer would either A) BSOD, or B) Make your harddrive take a ****, or C) Option B Plus 5 hours of copying it to the desktop(or wherever your downloads go) once its done downloading

Can we "view" this online? Just like Google maps (google earth) , actual size of whole earth must be too large , but if we focus one point , then we can view it

Hoping it to be on some site soon (Thinking about the server)

I'm thinking why didn't they used this technology to map the planet earth. They would have taken a large chunk of market from Google Earth. Would you agree?
Or they could have improved the maps the smaller countries, as there picture quality is pathetic if you have seen them(both on google and microsoft). Otherwise am a big fan of Microsoft.

FMH said,
I'm thinking why didn't they used this technology to map the planet earth. They would have taken a large chunk of market from Google Earth. Would you agree?
Or they could have improved the maps the smaller countries, as there picture quality is pathetic if you have seen them(both on google and microsoft). Otherwise am a big fan of Microsoft.

Are you for real?
Use the technology of telescopes in California and Australia..... to map the Earth?
You're imaginative - I'll give you that!

"it would require a half-million HDTVs. In printed form, the image would span over the entire length of a football field."

Wait, I'm confused, print is that much more detailed?

ccoltmanm said,
"it would require a half-million HDTVs. In printed form, the image would span over the entire length of a football field."

Wait, I'm confused, print is that much more detailed?

HDTVs may be big, but their resolution isn't. My 17in monitor has a slightly larger resolution than my 48in hdtv (1920x1200 vs. 1920x1080)

This is why i like MS more than other companies. From a business point of view, this may have very little profit scope (if any) but they still venture in it for the sake of doing extra ordinary things unlike this other company who recently surpassed MS's net worth but you never hear them do anything like this.

d4diesel said,
This is why i like MS more than other companies. From a business point of view, this may have very little profit scope (if any) but they still venture in it for the sake of doing extra ordinary things unlike this other company who recently surpassed MS's net worth but you never hear them do anything like this.

LOL at thinly veiled jab, but very true point. Microsoft is quite active in the research sector.

Brian said,

LOL at thinly veiled jab, but very true point. Microsoft is quite active in the research sector.

The only research Microsoft does is in copying others

Gates: don't develop, copy:
From: 'Programmers at work', Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA [1986]:
Interviewer: "Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?"
Gates: "No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system."

ilev said,

The only research Microsoft does is in copying others

Gates: don't develop, copy:
From: 'Programmers at work', Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA [1986]:
Interviewer: "Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?"
Gates: "No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system."

As usual your comments are idiotic and have no substance, and all you know to do is copy and paste.

LiquidSolstice said,

As usual your comments are idiotic and have no substance, and all you know to do is copy and paste.

The truth can't be denied no matter how hard you will try.

ilev said,

The only research Microsoft does is in copying others

Gates: don't develop, copy:
From: 'Programmers at work', Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA [1986]:
Interviewer: "Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?"
Gates: "No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system."

Lol really? And what Apple invented the smartphone, tablet pcs right? Oh wait. Or are you going to link me that youtube video where some idiot claimed Vista was a copy of mac since it had a calender, a chess game and some widgets.

Microsoft research is a pretty active RnD division, and they have come up with some frankly amazing stuff.

Every company companies somethings from other companies, its the only way to progress.

ilev said,

The truth can't be denied no matter how hard you will try.

And you can only see what you want to see it seems. Gotta love people living in their own world, it's a good laugh.

ilev said,

The only research Microsoft does is in copying others

Gates: don't develop, copy:
From: 'Programmers at work', Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA [1986]:
Interviewer: "Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?"
Gates: "No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system."

This:

nohone said,

"Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal"
"I've been shameless about stealing great ideas"
- Steve Jobs, 1996
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...amp;feature=player_embedded

and what do you think Linux is?

LiquidSolstice said,

As usual your comments are idiotic and have no substance, and all you know to do is copy and paste.


This. I couldn't agree more.

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot- proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

ilev said,

The only research Microsoft does is in copying others

Gates: don't develop, copy:
From: 'Programmers at work', Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA [1986]:
Interviewer: "Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be a programmer?"
Gates: "No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating system."

Has to be a troll

Odom said,

Yours is the only comment I'm going to back up, the others may have true points, but I'm not getting involved

Also, I don't know why I can't get the quote to auto paste in...

ilev said,
The truth can't be denied no matter how hard you will try.

LiquidSolstice is right, your comments are quite idiotic.

Odom said,
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot- proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

+1

how long will it take to download lol. even with my FIOS connection it would probably take forever.

when can I order the full size poster?

murkurie said,
how long will it take to download lol. even with my FIOS connection it would probably take forever.

when can I order the full size poster?

Excellent suggestion! +1 here

The wow factor is very obvious, but other than that I am curious if there a technical use of this type of image.

compl3x said,
"Actual Image Size: 802 GB"

Holy ****!

WOAH LOL!!!

I'm... not sure my computer can handle that well!

I am sure if I save that picture some how on my dad's external 2tb it will confused the **** outta him how 50% of it is already so full.

Foub said,

I have a terabyte of hard disk space that I could free up.

Now try put both pics into your HDD I'm crying already to know that my 1.5TB HDD can't fit a mere 2 photos!!!