EDINBURGH University has played a role in producing an image that shows more than one billion stars in the Milky Way together in detail for the first time.
Scientists created the colour picture by combining infra-red light images from telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Large structures of the Milky Way galaxy, such as gas and dust clouds where stars have formed and died, can be seen in the image.
The picture represents part of a ten-year project involving scientists from the UK, Europe and Chile, who gathered data from the two telescopes.
The information has been processed and archived by teams at Edinburgh and Cambridge universities, who have made it available to astronomers around the world for further studies. Archived information from the project is expected to enable scientists to carry out groundbreaking research.