Friday, April 3, 2015

100,000 Stars - an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood

While checking out StumbleUpon I ran into this very cool representation of our galaxy. The truth is it's a very small portion of our galaxy, but it's still very impressive just the same.

Here's what the creators of 100,000 Stars has to say for themselves:

"100,000 Stars is an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood created for the Google Chrome web browser. It shows the location of 119,617 nearby stars derived from multiple sources, including the 1989 Hipparcos mission. Zooming in reveals 87 individually identified stars and our solar system. The galaxy view is an artist's rendition based on NGC 1232, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.

Programmed by some space enthusiasts at Google.

Music by Sam Hulick, whose work you may have heard in the video game, Mass Effect. The track is titled “In a Strange Land” and is used with his permission.

Galaxy images provided by Wikipedia and ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5m/R.Gendler and A. Hornstrup.

Star renderings derived from Wikipedia

Sun images courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

Star data provided by:
HYG Database, by Astronomy Nexus

Gliese/JahreiƟ Catalog, by Dr. Wilhelm Gliese and Dr. Hartmut Jahreiss

Bright Star Catalog (5th edition), by Dr. E. Dorrit Hoffleit and Dr. Wayne H. Warren Jr, and the Department of Astronomy at Yale University

HIPPARCOS Catalog (3rd Edition) by the European Space Agency" -

I ran this on Chrome and Firefox. It was slower on Firefox, but considering this visualization is a "Chrome Expirement" it's not shocking Chrome handled it better.

In either case though, If you love astronomy like I do, it's worth a look.

*These images are screenshots from 100,000 Stars.

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