Massive 2.2-Gigapixel Photo of the Milky Way Captured in One Night

Milky Way 2 Gigabyte Photo by Bartosz Wojczynski

Polish astrophotographer Bartosz Wojczyński loves a challenge and he gave himself a big one while visiting the Tivoli Astro Farm in Namibia. In just one night, he went about capturing a 2.2-gigapixel photo of the Milky Way without using a specialized astrophotography camera. The result is a dazzling image that lets viewers drink in the details of our galaxy.

Wojczyński has shared the high-resolution version on his website and is opening up about what went into the creative process. He was inspired to undertake a challenge that would allow him to use high-performance equipment in perfect viewing conditions. In fact, the good conditions meant that he could rely on DSLR cameras. His setup included two Nikon D810A cameras and two Takahashi Epsilon 130D astrographs mounted on a Losmandy G11 astrophotography mount.

“The entire project was a string of significant challenges,” Wojczyński shared with My Modern Met. “First, there was an issue of transporting a lot of heavy equipment to Namibia. Some parts of the setup were rented on-site, so there wasn't even an opportunity to test everything before the trip. Lastly, I had technical problems processing the final picture as my standard workflow could not handle a photograph this large, so I had to split up the image into slices and process them one by one.”

Camera Setup for Astrophotography

The full-size, finished image comes in at 53,480×41,010 pixels and takes up 13 gigabytes of hard drive space. It's composed of 110 mosaic panes, with each pane shot at 400 ISO with a four-minute exposure. The crisp clarity of the photo is owed to the pristine on-site conditions—no light pollution, no satellites in view, a high elevation, and dry air with good transparency. In this case, the stars really did all align.

Wojczyński's achievement is all the more impressive when one considers that another high-resolution photo of the Milky Way took the photographer 12 years to finish—and that was only 1.7 gigapixels. If you'd like this spectacular photo of the Milky Way on your wall, he's also selling both fine art prints and posters on his website.

Astrophotographer Bartosz Wojczyński traveled to Namibia to take a 2.2-gigapixel photo of the Milky Way.

Camera Setup with Milky Way in the Background

Check out these incredible details of the Milky Way as photographed in Namibia.

Closeup of the Milky Way by Bartosz Wojczynski

Closeup of the Milky Way by Bartosz Wojczynski

Closeup of the Milky Way by Bartosz Wojczynski

The Polish astrophotographer also created a video to share some of his favorite details.

Bartosz Wojczyński: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature Bartosz Wojczyński.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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