Scientists determine exact colour of Milky Way

Astronomers seeking to classify the exact colour of the Milky Way have reached a conclusion. Announced at the recent American Astronomical Society meeting, the answer is … white.

The scientists wanted to establish the precise colour that the Milky Way looks from the outside – which is tricky, seeing as we are stuck inside it. But, using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, comprising information from about a million galaxies, the conclusion is white. Specifically, our galaxy is the colour of spring snow at an hour after sunrise or before sunset.

Determining our galaxy’s colour may help us interpret its past and forecast its future evolution. “For astronomers, one of the most important parameters is actually the colour of the galaxy,” Jeffrey Newman of the University of Pittsburgh told the BBC. 

Full story: BBC News


About MRW

Physics person.

Posted on January 12, 2012, in Cosmology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It is of no surprise that the colour is white. This is just standard luminosity saturation. What do you get if you shine all wavelengths of light? White light. Loving the blog!

    • Thank you! Yes, indeed it is a fairly obvious conclusion. But I thought The Milky Way being “the colour of spring snow at an hour after sunrise or before sunset” was quite sweet!

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